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Whittier Correspondence 
To his Mother, 1830 . 
To his sister Elizabeth, 1835 . 
From Caleb Cushing, 1835 . 
From Stephen C. Phillips, 1835 
To his sister Elizabeth, 1837 
To his sister Elizabeth, 1837 . 
To his sister Mary Caldwell, 1837 
From his sister Elizabeth, 1837 
From his brother Franklin, 1838 . 
To his sister Elizabeth, 1838 . 
To his Family, 1839 . 
To his Mother, 1839 
To his sister Mary Caldwell, 1839 
From Elizur Wright, Jr., 1840 
To his sister Elizabeth, 1840 
From Joseph Sturge, 1841 
From Caleb Cushing, 1841 . 
From his brother Franklin, 1841 
From Caleb Cushing, 1841 . 
Liberty Party Petition, 1841 
From Caleb Cushing, 1841 . 
From his brother Franklin, 1842 
From James Russell Lowell, 1842 








[ viii ] 
From Henry B. Stanton, 1844 • 
From his brother Franklin, 1844 • 
From Henry B. Stanton, 1844 . 
From Charles A. Dana, 1845 
From Charles Sumner, 1.848 
To Charles Sumner, 1848 . 
From Charles Sumner, 1848 
From Henry B. Stanton, 1848 
From Thomas Wentworth Higginson, i 
From Lewis Tappan, 1848 . 
From Charles Sumner, 1848 
To " The Bay State," Lynn, 1850 
From Charles Sumner, 1850 
From Charles Sumner, 1851 
From Edwin P. Hill, 1853 
From Charles Sumner, 1853 
From Cornelius Conway Felton, 1855 
To his Amesbury Neighbors, 1856 
From Charles Sumner, 1856 
From James Russell Lowell, 1857 
From James Russell Lowell, 1858 
From Lewis Tappan, 1859 • 
From Salmon P. Chase, i860 . 
From Charles Sumner, 1861 
From Thomas Starr King, 1862 
From Lydia Maria Child, 1864 . 
From Thomas Wentworth Higginson, i 
From Dorothea L. Dix, 1865 
From Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1865 
From Colonel Julian Allen, 1866 . 

















From Lucy Stone, 1867 ..... 159 

From Celia Thaxter, 1867 . . . .161 

From Jessie Benton Fremont, 1868 . . .166 

From Charles Sumner, 1868 . . . . 169 

From Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1869 . . .171 

To (a Quaker), 1870 .... 173 

From Paul H. Hayne, 1870 . . . . 175 

From Paul H. Hayne, 1870 . . . . 178 

From Charles Sumner, 1872 . . . .180 

From Charles Sumner, 1872 . . . . 181 

From Celia Thaxter, 1873 • • • • • 1^3 

From Paul H. Hayne, 1874 . . . . 187 

From Henry W. Longfellow, 1874 . . .190 

From Fellow Townsmen of Amesbury, 1877 ■ ^9^ 

From Charles C. Burleigh, 1877 . . . .194 

From Paul H. Hayne, 1878 . . . . 199 

From Paul H. Hayne, 1878 . . . . 202 

To (as to printing poems), 1878 . . 206 

From Lydia Maria Child, 1878 . . . . 207 

From Lydia Maria Child, 1879 . . . 209 

To Horace H. Currier, 1879 . . . .212 

From Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1879 . . 214 

From Edmund Clarence Stedman, 1879 . .216 

To Thomas F. Bayard, 1880 . . . , 218 

From Paul H. Hayne, 1880 . . . .219 

From Edwin P. Whipple, 1881 . . . 224 

To , 1881 ....... 226 

From Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1882 . . 228 
To Charles P. Preston, 1883 .... 230 

From Ohver Wendell Holmes, 1883 . . . 232 


From William Claflin, 1884 
From Thomas Chase, 1884 
From Amelia B. Edwards, 1885 . 
From Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1885 
To "The Boston Transcript," 1885 
From James Russell Lowell, 1886 
From Charles C. Chase, 1887 
From George F. Hoar, 1888 . 
From Oliver Wenddl Holmes, 1888 
From Isaac R. Pennypacker, 1890 
From Edmund Clarence Stedman, 1890 
To Miss Phebe Woodman, 1892 
To Miss Caroline C. Johnson, 1892 


A Whittier's "Editorial Creed," 1830 

B The Grimke Sisters at Amesbury 

C Some Anti-Slavery Workers 

D H. C. Wright .... 

E The Origin of Whittier's 111 Health 

F Whittier to Elizur Wright, Jr., 1840 

G John Neal 

H Whittier to Sumner, 1848 

I Whittier to Sumner, 1853 

J Whittier to Sumner, 1856 

K Whittier to Sumner, 1872 

L Thomas Chase 

M Harriet Livermore 

N Whittier to , 1867 . 










Whittier. From Daguerreotype, 1844-5 


Oak Knoll, Danvers .... 

. 4 

Elizabeth H. Whittier . 

. . 46 

Whittier's Mother .... 

. 60 

James Russell Lowell, 1842 

. . 84 

S. P. Chase 

. 136 

0. W. Holmes . . , . . 

. 154 

Charles Sumner . . . « . 

. 170 

Celia Thaxter . » . 


Lydia Maria Child , • • • 

. 208 

E. C. Stedman 



THESE letters cover sixty-two years of the 
life of a man to whom Essex County owes a 
debt, for Whittier has thrown over this re- 
gion a charm that has made it one of the world's ideal 
spots. And he has sung of its beauty so effectively 
that the pilgrim, who does not see what Whittier saw, 
will rest content that the failure is due to his own lack 
of perception. But yet, beautiful though the country 
seems in the verse, the people of the poems rest under 
a shadow, for there it appears that they persecute their 
neighbors as Quakers, hang them as witches, and sail 
away from them as they drown. 

However, it is not because Whittier is so closely 
associated with Essex County that the correspondence 
here printed is of value. It is rather that through 
these letters we can learn of Whittier himself, whose 
memory is cherished as the poet of home and child- 
hood, of sympathy for the burdened and the oppressed, 
of encouragement for the down-hearted, of suggestion 
for the enthusiast, of inspiration for men of affairs. 
And though he practically retired from this work-a- 
day world at the age of thirty-three, an invalid, here 
are letters that show him to have been among his 
cotemporaries a power as an editor, a politician, and an 
anti-slavery worker. 

And these letters were preserved by Whittier him- 
self. Shortly after his removal to Danvers in 1876 
because of changes in the Amesbury household, he 
spent a day at his former home and returned to Oak 


Knoll with a mass of papers, saying, with a smile 
at the bulk of the package, that one could not tell 
about the future, and so he thought he would have 
these near him. It is from this collection, which Whittier 
himself made, that the letters here printed were selected 
for preservation, through the kind permission and 
cooperation of Mrs. Woodman and Miss Johnson. 
Once, when asked where he lived, he replied : " I 
retain my legal residence in Amesbury and I go there 
to vote, but my home is at Oak Knoll.'* And it was 
his home until his death in 1892, as pleasing refer- 
ences to it in these letters show. Great is the contrast 
between the modest house on the village street in 
Amesbury that had been his home for forty years, 
and the stately mansion at Oak Knoll, set back from 
the travelled road among grand trees and spacious 
surroundings. Here he could entertain his old friends, 
and he could also receive in fitting manner the host 
of " pilgrims," as he called them, who came from far 
and wide, and it may be added, it is still a shrine, 
though almost a score of years has passed since he 
left it forever. 

Among the earlier letters are a number exchanged 
between Whittier and his family, the characters im- 
mortalized in "Snow-Bound." Personal and familiar 
in their tone, they contain allusions which must be 
analyzed, for under that roof and around that hearth 
were the influences that shaped Whittier, the man of 

The first letter, that from Hartford in 1830 to his 
mother, was written when Whittier, a young man of 
twenty-two, was away from home and among strangers. 
He had already had some hard and discouraging ex- 


perience in newspaper work in Boston, but now in the 
home of that renowned coterie, the Hartford Wits, 
he was to succeed the brilliant George D. Prentice, 
as editor of the " New England Review," a weekly 
paper, at a salary of five hundred dollars a year.' 
Whittier through his contributions to that paper, 
had made a pleasing impression on Prentice, so that 
when Prentice went to Kentucky to aid in the cam- 
paign of Clay for the Presidency, the young Haverhill 
Quaker was the one chosen to be the editor. With 
such an introduction Whittier's place in the social 
circles of the "little city," as he later called it, was 
established, and, for the first time, he was enjoying the 
stimulus of urban life. He was finding Hartford to 
be " a pleasant city and full of clever people." Fifty- 
five years afterwards he looked back, and again wrote, 
"I was there two years and had a pleasant time."^ 

In 1832 he returned to Haverhill where, through 
the death of his father, he had to take up the " daily 
duties of a large farm." But his two years in the world 
had broadened his outlook and stirred his ambition. 
Already the cause of the slave had appealed to him, 
and just before his return to farm life, he published 
his poem to Garrison, now placed at the beginning of 
his anti-slavery verse, every line of which rings with 
the exultant enthusiasm of one who knows the perils, 
and is thrilled at the sight of the leader. 

It maybe that it was a letter ^ from this leader, 

^ See Appendix A, p. 263. 

2 Memorial History of Hartford County, Conn,, i, 614 (1886). 

3 This letter, printed in full in Carpenter, Whittier, 117, was in the 
package Whittier brought to Oak Knoll, where it is in the possession 
of his cousins, Mrs. Woodman and Miss Johnson. 


Garrison, that decided Whittier to identify himself 
with the " mighty purpose " of that 

" Champion of those who groan beneath 
Oppression's iron hand." ' 

Or it may be that Whittier had reached that point in 
his own thought where such a letter would lead to a 
decision. In this letter Garrison, after depicting the 
curse of slavery, concluded : — " This, then, is a time 
for the philanthropist, any friend of his country, to 
put forth his energies, in order to let the oppressed 
go free, and sustain the republic. The cause is worthy 
of Gabriel, yea, the God of hosts places himself at its 
head. Whittier, enlist. Your talents, zeal, influence, 
all are needed." 

Three months later, June, 1833, Whittier at his 
own expense printed his pamphlet, " Justice and Ex- 
pediency ; or Slavery considered with a View to its 
Rightful and Effectual Remedy, Abolition." "" The im- 
mediate interest this pamphlet has in connection with 
these letters lies in the statement of the end to be 
sought and the manner of attainment. In it he re- 
cognizes the power of " the terrible and unrebukable 
indignation of a free people," which must be aroused 
and concentrated against the forces of slavery. He 
knows that public opinion, when fully awakened, can 
overcome all the obstacles to abolition, however great. 
And this mighty force is to be brought to act, " not 
with the weapons of violence and blood, but with those 
of reason and truth, prayer to God and entreaty to 
man," and these letters show that Whittier's lifelong 
course was but a working out of this policy. 

' ** To William Lloyd Garrison," Poems , 262, Cambridge Edition, 

2 Prose Works y iii, 34.. 


It may not seem fitting to style Whittier an agita- 
tor, but such indeed he was, and in his comment on 
W. E. Channings " Slavery '* (quoted note i, page 
44) he expressed strong approval of agitation. There 
is, however, a difference in agitators and a diversity 
in their methods. With Garrison, the personality of 
the man himself so entered the cause of the slave that 
it became in the minds of the public his own cause, and 
he, its especial advocate. But with Whittier, as is seen 
in these letters, there was not the arousing of impulse 
and feeling, but rather the appeal to " reason and 
truth," as he declared in his " Justice and Expediency," 
and it required skilful and adroit handling of men, 
first to enlist them in the tedious and difficult strug- 
gles incident to a third party in politics, and then to 
hold their allegiance year after year. 

Whittier must have known what it was to support 
an unpopular cause, though pure the motives and 
high the aim. The caution after the allusion to "gin- 
sling and brandy " in the first letter, is a reference to 
the temperance principles of his friend and patron, A. 
W. Thayer, the publisher of the "Haverhill Gazette," 
which was " the first political paper and the second paper 
of any kind" to advocate total abstinence from liquor.' 
So earnest and effective was Thayer's course that, in 
a short time, he lost four hundred subscribers, a loss 
almost calamitous to a paper of its limited circulation. 

But in reading these letters there is one factor that 
must not, indeed it cannot, be overlooked, the " plain 
coat " of the Quaker. The extent of its influence and 
power can best be determined after some conception 
is formed of what it stood for in Essex County two 
» Chase, Haverhill ( 1 86 1 ) , 654. 


centuries ago, for to the traditions associated with this 
plain coat its wearers succeeded. This appears in 
Franklin Whittier's letter (page 89) where he and 
Nathan wore their hats in a meeting, " as a testimony." 
Though the style of this coat was that worn by quietly 
dressed people of the seventeenth century, the fact 
that the Quakers clung to it through changing fash- 
ions, shows that it stood for something definite in 
their minds, and the "world's people" naturally made 
inquiry as to what it meant, if indeed they were not 
already informed by some of the ranting Quakers. 

The coat signified that its wearer was " bearing wit- 
ness," which is a euphemism for making a protest, 
a protest against show, ornament, and amusement, 
against rites and ceremonies in the churches, against 
class distinctions in social life, in brief, a broad pro- 
test against what had become generally recognized as 
the graces, the courtesies, and the conventionalities of 
active life. Through the donning of this peculiar coat 
its wearer was promptly identified as one who was, in 
effect, silently charging those he met with insincerity 
and moral weakness. Such a protest against those 
things which are at the basis of social life, was a hin- 
drance in the intercourse of man and man. It would 
excite either respect, pity, ridicule, or resentment, and 
which it might be, had to be determined before mu- 
tual confidence, needful to the establishment of satis- 
factory relatipns, could exist. Furthermore, such a coat 
with its burden of reproof must dominate the wearer, 
or else the man himself must have sufficient strength 
of character to rise above its influence. 

To understand how these traditions became estab- 
lished and how deeply they were rooted, some atten- 


tion must be given to the current thought when the 
Quakers came into the region associated with the events 
of Whittier's poems. The civil government of the Bay 
Colony was based on the Bible, especially the laws of 
Moses and the Pauline Epistles, literally interpreted. 
While it was in contemplation that there should be 
no appeal from the "Thus saith the Lord," it was 
recognized by the General Court that there might be 
difficulty in applying the ancient law to modern in- 
stances. But still their thought was that the Book was 
the supreme standard and rule." 

As a consequence the character of the prevailing 
thought was fixed by the meeting house, the centre of 
the life of the community. But here again existed a 
rigidity difficult to comprehend in these days, for both 
the pulpit and the pew tried to conform and to hold 
others to 

" the points of Calvin's thunder-rod," 

as Whittier calls them {Poems y 74), which must be kept 
in mind in a study of that time. These Five Points, 

* The Governor, Deputy Governor, Thomas Dudley, John 
Haynes, Richard Bellingham, Esq. , Mr. Cotton, Mr. Peters and Mr. 
Shepheard are entreated to make a draught of laws agreeable to the 
Word of God, which may be the fundamentals of this Commonwealth, 
and to present the same to the next General Court. And it is ordered, 
that in the mean time the magistrates and their associates shall proceed 
in the courts to hear and determine all causes according to the laws 
now established, and where there is no law, then as near the law of 
God as they can ; and for all business out of Court for which there is no 
certain rule yet set down, those of the standing counsel, or some two of 
them, shall take order by their best discretion, that they may be ordered 
and ended according to the rule of God's word, and to take care for 
all military affairs till the next General Court. 

Mass. Bay Colony Records, i, 174. 

which have so far passed from the thought of the pre- 
sent day that it is a mark of rare erudition for one to 
recite them, are particular election, limited atonement, 
original sin, irresistible grace, final perseverance of the 
saints. Fortunately there is no occasion to discuss in 
this connection how, even then, these points were con- 

Into the community pervaded by this inelastic and 
unyielding school of thought, there came the Quaker 
with his new doctrine, that there was in each man the 
" Light Within," a manifestation of the Spirit of God 
serving as a guide whose voice of direction or prompt- 
ing must be obeyed. Furthermore, he taught that, 
because the Spirit is in every man, all men are equal. 
That is, they preached the brotherhood of man, a log- 
ical deduction from their position as to the equality of 
man. Clearly, therefore, the Quaker must oppose both 
war and slavery. But because the first of these pro- 
positions, that as to the Inward Guide, could not be 
deduced from the phrases of the Five Points, its sup- 
porters were unhesitatingly disapproved. The second, 
the equality of man, likewise subjected them to dis- 
favor, because, if put into practice, it would destroy 
the social order and the civil government. But, with 
the experience of two centuries and more behind 
us, we now can see that, formulating the controversy 
briefly in terms of to-day, the Puritan sought direc- 
tion through the Book, while the Quaker relied on 
the " Light Within." Or, practically, the Puritan 
taught that man should search for God, while the 
Quaker proclaimed that God was searching for man. 

^ SchafF, Creeds of Christendom y i, 508. **The Arminian Con- 
troversy and the Synod of Dort. " 

C" ] 

The Quaker of that time could not express his 
thought with Whittier's felicity, and even if he had been 
able, the Puritan could not have understood it. In 
"Lines in Remembrance of Joseph Sturge,'* the Eng- 
lish Quaker whose important letter to Whittier is here 
printed (page 69), there is an illustration of how charm- 
ingly the poet could express a Quaker tenet, that of 
the Spirit being in every man : — 

" Thanks for the good man's beautiful example, 
Who in the vilest saw 
Some sacred crypt or altar of a temple 

Still vocal with God's law ; 
And heard with tender ear the spirit sighing 

As from its prison cell, 
Praying for pity, like the mournful crying 
Of Jonah out of hell." 

(Poems^ 199-) 

But because the Puritan and the Quaker did not and 
could not understand each other, and because the mat- 
ter in controversy was deemed by each to be so vital, 
the long, painful, and distressing experiences followed, 
some phases of which, modified by the exigencies 
of rhyme and metre, are preserved for all time in 
Whittier*s verse. 

When, after some years, both Puritan and Quaker 
found that they could live side by side and do busi- 
ness together, there was still left the spirit of protest, 
strengthened by the thought or remembrance or tra- 
dition of the experiences of the earlier years, until one 
now queries at times whether the protest against what 
had happened years before was not as much empha- 
sized as the affirmations concerning things spiritual. 

Whittier seemed to feel the need of a statement of 


what the Quaker stood for, when peace and quiet came, 
and in "The Preacher/' based on the story of White- 
field and the work of " the priests of the New Evan- 
gel " at the time of the Great Revival in the eighteenth 
century, such is to be found. The community was then 
stirred to its depths and its thought changed, while 
the " self-concentred " Quaker, at least in the poem, 
took an independent, if not indifferent attitude, for 

" With zeal wing-clipped and white-heat cool, 
Moved by the spirit in grooves of rule, 
No longer harried, and cropped, and fleeced, 
Flogged by sheriff and cursed by priest, 
But by wiser counsels left at ease 
To settle quietly on his lees, 
And, self-concentred, to count as done 
The work which his fathers well begun. 
In silent protest of letting alone. 
The Quaker kept the way of his own, — 
A non-conductor among the wires. 
With coat of asbestos proof to fires. 
And quite unable to mend his pace 
To catch the falling manna of grace. 
He hugged the closer his little store 
Of faith, and silently prayed for more. 
And vague of creed and barren of rite, 
But holding, as in his Master's sight. 
Act and thought to the inner light. 
The round of his simple duties walked, 
And strove to live what the others talked." 

("The Preacher," Poems^ 72.) 

Here Whittier contents himself with a recital of the 
facts, and leaves to others to show the influence of 

[ 13 ] 

the Quakers in this movement, as well as its effect 
upon them, for it was searching and lasting. 

But what is there left, when the protest and the oc- 
casion for it no longer exist? How does the Quaker 
in "the round of his simple duties" meet problems 
that arise for solution within the society, organized as 
are others in the community for the same great end, 
the good of humanity ? Now the manner in which 
an organization deals with difficulties determines its 
policy and its character. Whittier in his communica- 
tion to the " Friends Review," mentioned in the let- 
ter (page 173), speaks of a difficulty and suggests to 
his fellow Friends a remedy for "the low condition and 
worldliness too apparent among us," that is, among 
the Friends as such, not the "world^s people." This, 
he says, "does not lie in will worship, schools of theo- 
logy, in much speaking and noise and vehemence, 
nor in vain attempts to make the plain language of 
Quakerism utter the Shibboleth of man-made creeds ; 
but in heeding more closely the Inward Guide and 
Teacher, in faith in Christ not merely in His histor- 
ical manifestation of the Divine Love to humanity, 
but in His living presence in hearts open to receive 
Him ; in love for Him manifested in denial of self, 
in charity and love to our neighbor ; and in a deeper 
realization of the truth of the apostle's declaration : 
' Pure religion and undefiled before God and the 
Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in 
their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from 
the world.' " 

If it were claimed that this is a statement of doctrine 
peculiar to Quakerism and characteristic of it, there 
would be assertions on every hand that such a declara- 

C H] 

tion is broader than any sect and deeper than any 
" ism/' in brief, that it is a basal statement of Chris- 
tianity as to-day recognized. Therefore, when the 
protest is relaxed and withdrawn and the affirmation 
alone remains, Quakerism, 

" vague of creed and barren of rite," 

has little to differentiate it from what its neighbors 
generally profess and affirm, and then Quakerism as 
a special form of religious organization ceases to be. 

The protest has been withdrawn and the Quaker 
coat has disappeared from Essex County. Further- 
more, even among the descendants of its wearers, an 
inquiry as to what were the distinctive teachings of 
the Quakers will yield replies having to do with the 
apparel or customs only. 

In Whittier's " The Quaker Alumni " (Poems, 
220), he records his prophecy: — 

" There are those that take note that our numbers are 

small, — 
New Gibbons who write our decline and our fall ; 
But the Lord of the seed-field takes care of His own, 
And the world shall yet reap what our sowers have sown. 
The last of his sect to his fathers may go, 
Leaving only his coat for some Barnum to show ; 
But the truth will outlive him, and broaden with years. 
Till the false dies away, and the wrong disappears." 

These broad, sweeping statements of the ultimate tri- 
umph of the truth for which the coat stands, coupled 
with admissions of decline and fall, prompt the inquiry 
what Whittier saw in the conditions and prospects of 
the Society of Friends to indicate the fading away of 
its supporters. 


Whittler appreciated this. The man whose verse 
moves men ; who boldly and unflinchingly undertook 
to free the slave ; whose counsel and judgment these 
letters show was sought by leaders of men ; he knew 
the rules which govern mankind. He knew from 
experience that a protest can serve as a rallying cry 
among men only so long as that against which it is 
raised is stronger. When the protest itself gains the 
mastery, it must stand for affirmative, constructive 
work, or its adherents divide and scatter. 

In him the appreciation of constructive work was 
greater than the sense of protest. The man dominated 
the coat. Lov/ell recognized this and wrote of him in 
1848: — 

" There is Whittier, whose swelling and vehement heart 
Strains the strait-breasted drab of the Quaker apart, 
And reveals the live Man, still supreme and erect, 
Underneath the bemummying wrappers of sect." 

(Lowell, "A Fable for Critics," Poems^ 132.) 

If a search is made in Whittier's verse for what will 
define the tenets of the Quakers, so that they can be 
distinguished from those of other societies that call for 
activities and service, the result will be indefinite, 
because, though Whittier may have thought he was 
giving expression to teachings peculiar to his ancestral 
sect, he actually was putting into verse truths to which 
the response is world wide. His poems that deal 
with the better and the higher nature of man, are the 
expression of truth as it came through his personality 
and they bear his lasting impress. Therefore the value 
of these letters is manifest, for they reveal the Whittier 
of real life among his friends and in the world of men. 


But nevertheless the Quaker atmosphere of protest 
and of brotherly love as well, in which Whittier was 
born and grew to manhood, had its effect, which must 
be remembered in a study of these letters, for in such 
an environment his sympathies, naturally keen and 
strong, were especially quickened on behalf of any who 
were down-trodden and oppressed. This works out 
curiously in his verse, as may be seen in two poems, 
each having as its subject a similar incident, the sen- 
sational entrance of a woman into a meeting-house at 
an inopportune time, with consequent disturbance of 
the service. 

In one it is the Quaker for whom our sympathies 
are sought : — 

" She came and stood in the Old South Church, 
A wonder and a sign, 
With a look the old-time sibyls wore, 
Half crazed and half divine. . 

" Save the mournful sack cloth about her wound, 
Unclothed as the primal mother, 
With limbs that trembled and eyes that blazed 
With a fire she dare not smother." ' 

In the other poem it is the young slave mother of 
whose sad and helpless plight we read : — 

" Like a scared fawn before the hounds, 
Right up the aisle she glided, 
While close behind her, whip in hand, 
A lank-haired hunter strided. . . . 

" I saw her dragged along the aisle. 

Her shackles harshly clanking ; 

^ In the ** Old South," Poems y 121. 

[ 17] 

I heard the parson, over all, 

The Lord devoutly thanking." ' 

Here Whittier is righteously angered against the pre- 
sent evil of human bondage, and against all who do 
not take his uncompromising stand, while in the for- 
mer, through the woman who came under the civil 
authority because the people of that day were as keen 
as we to resent a violation of the proprieties, he seeks 
to arouse his readers to an active sympathy with the 
participants of an old strife, the elements of which are 
little comprehended. In the letters he does not take 
such equivocal positions, for he patiently and deliber- 
ately calculates each step in a plan, while in the poems 
there is the storm of indignation and of invective and 
the swift leap from premise to conclusion. 

In the minds of Whittier's readers the Quaker and 
the witch seem in some way to be connected, and that 
one was a cause or a result of the other, for they are 
placed together so frequently in the verse. Whittier's 
conception of the conditions that existed in Salem Vil- 
lage, now Danvers, where the delusion began, is indi- 
cated in the lines he wrote for the monument erected 
in memory of Rebecca Nurse, one of the first victims, 
at her grave and near the house in which she lived : — 

" O, Christian martyr who for truth could die, 
When all about thee owned the hideous lie ; 
The world, redeemed from superstition's sway, 
Is breathing freer for thy sake to-day." 

Standing near this is another monument on which is 
carved the statement with the names of the thirty-nine 
signers, all friends and neighbors, who testify concern- 

' "A Sabbath Scene," Poems, 312. 


ingthls aged object of the delusion that "we never had 
any grounds or cause to suspect her of any such thing 
as she is now accused of.'* This clearly contradicts the 
second line of the verse. 

Upham, than whom none has made a closer study, 
wrote: "An examination of [these thirty-nine] names 
in connection with the history of the Village will show 
conclusive proof, that, if the matter had been left to 
the people there, it would never have reached the 
point to which it was carried. It was the influence of 
the magistracy and the government of the colony, and 
the public sentiment elsewhere, overruling that of the 
immediate locality, that drove on the storm." ' 

The Quaker and the witch will ever be hanging in 
Whittier's poems and none can remove them. While 
through the labors of the student, each decade sees a 
better understanding of the first century of Massachu- 
setts, it will be many score of years before the popu- 
lar mind can think along other lines and in different 
phrase from that of Whittier's verse. 

But will his portrayal of slavery stand the test of 
time ? Does his verse reflect his experiences as a leader 
in that magnificent achievement of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, the freeing of the slave ? In that contest it seems 
that to the inborn spirit of protest against oppression 
there was added the force of his own " terrible and 
unrebukable indignation," and these letters show how 
he wrought and what a place he attained in the esti- 
mation of his associates, on whom with him rested the 
great responsibility. They recognized not only his 
zeal, but his discernment and his discretion, two quali- 
ties especially needed at a time when fads and no- 
' Upham, Witchcraft in Salem Village y ii, 273. 

[ 19] 

tions abounded, and when methods of arousing and 
concentrating public attention were unskilful and 

Before the break came in 1 840 between the aboli- 
tionists under Garrison, who would talk but would not 
vote, and the anti-slavery men who planned to com- 
bat slavery through the ballot-box, there was action 
without definite plan. There were those who were in- 
tent on abolition alone, and there were others who 
would rally to the support of any notion whose adher- 
ents would in turn support abolition. Not only were 
there discussions and dissensions about the coloniza- 
tion of the Negro in Africa, and whether emancipation 
should be immediate or gradual, but there were divi- 
sions on woman suffrage, Grahamism or vegetarianism, 
family government, temperance, and a multitude of 
other schemes and theories intended to ameliorate and 
elevate man's condition, but which, by diverting the 
attention, hindered the progress of the main issue, 
the slave and his freedom. 

The state of" betweenity " of Dr. Harris, so felicit- 
ously described by Franklin Whittier (page ^6), re- 
veals the mental situation with which the anti-slavery 
men had to contend in their efforts to secure single- 
minded supporters. Joseph Sturge had heard of this in 
England, and alludes to it in his letter asking Whittier 
to be his companion on the journey of investigation 
in this country (page 69). 

But there was one issue on which all could unite 
for action, and this the various correspondents con- 
stantly discuss, the abolition of slavery in the District 
of Columbia, for it was a grief and reproach indeed 
that slavery should exist in the capital of the nation. 


On his journey with Whittier, Sturge visited Wash- 
ington in 1 841, and, returning to England, published 
abroad this sad comment : — 

" The District of Columbia is the chief seat of the 
American slave trade; commercial enterprise there has 
no other object. Washington is one of the best sup- 
plied and most frequented slave marts in the world." * 
Whittier's "At Washington" (Poems, 295), sug- 
gested by a visit four years later, expresses the same 
fact in verse : — 

" Still the dance goes gaily onward ! 
What is it to Wealth and Pride 
That without the stars are looking 

On a scene that earth should hide? 
That the slave-ship lies in waiting, 
Rocking on Potomac's tide." 

To circulate petitions to Congress for the abolition 
of slavery in the District was an effective means of 
arousing interest, because appeals could be made, even 
to the lukewarm and indifferent, on the ground that 
slavery at Washington was a matter personal to each 
citizen of the United States. Both Cushing (page 38), 
and Phillips (page 41), deal with this subject in detail 
as it was in December, 1835, ^^^ show the difficulties 
attendant on the presentation of the petitions. 

How keenly Whittier felt on this subject of what 
was practically a denial of the right of petition, may 
be seen in his lines on " The New Year " (Poems, 281), 
addressed to the subscribers of the " Pennsylvania 
Freeman," 1839. Atherton of New Hampshire had 
introduced a rule which the House had passed, that 
all petitions referring to slavery should be received 
» Sturge, Fisit to the U. S, in 1841, 74. 


but neither read nor referred. To this act Whittier 
refers : — 

" And he, the basest of the base, 

The vilest of the vile, whose name 
Embalmed in infinite disgrace. 
Is deathless in its shame ! " 

And yet, in spite of the vast amount of time and effort 
directed to the abolition of slavery in the District, it 
was not accomplished until 1862, and then as a result 
of a series of measures passed to meet conditions due 
to the war. As Whittier says in " Astraea at the Capi- 
tol" (P6?^;«j, 338) : — 

" Not as we hoped, in calm of prayer, 
The message of deliverance comes, 
But heralded by roll of drums 
On waves of battle-troubled air." 

Except the obscure reference in Elizabeth Whittier's 
letter, September, 1837 (page 54), and the letter of 
Whittier (page 58), accompanying copies of his poems, 
it is December, 1842, before there is a letter having 
to do directly with his literary work, and then it is a 
request from Lowell for a contribution to the " Pio- 
neer," a monthly magazine, destined, however, to be 
short-lived, as but three numbers appeared. 

In 1847 Whittier became connected with the " Na- 
tional Era" of Washington, a paper started under 
anti-slavery auspices with Dr. Gamaliel Bailey as edi- 
tor, which attained success at once. It was in this 
paper that " Uncle Tom's Cabin " appeared as a serial. 
During its life from 1 847 until March, 1 860, the name 
of John G. Whittier as corresponding editor was 
printed in bold type below the title of the paper. To 


this he contributed constantly, both in prose and verse, 
so that through this means his name became widely 

The letter from E. P. Hill in 1853 (page 119) 
about the lithograph of the old Whittier home at 
East Haverhill, a dozen years before " Snow-Bound " 
appeared, proves that there was then a demand by 
the public for something about Whittier's personality. 
Fortunately, in this connection, the letter of Whittier 
to his old friend Currier, telling about a visit to the 
house forty years after the family moved to Amesbury, 
can be here preserved (page 212). 

That Charles Sumner, who kept all letters he re- 
ceived so that they fill one hundred and seventy vol- 
umes, should have carefully placed those from Whit- 
tier by themselves in a special volume, indicates his 
regard for his friend.' And that Whittier should have 
been the first to suggest to Sumner that he serve as 
Senator from Massachusetts, shows how accurate was 
Whittier's estimate of the man and of his capabilities 
as a leader in the anti-slavery cause.^ 

^ The Letter Books of Sumner contain the letters received by him 
from 1830 until his death in 1874. These were used by E. L. 
Pierce in the preparation cf his Life of Sumner and after his death they 
were given by his family to the Library of Harvard College. The 
classification is for the greater part chronological, I 2 1 volumes being 
thus arranged. There are 25 volumes of*' foreign " letters. The cor- 
respondents whose letters are kept in one volume each are Giddings, 
Longfellow, Parker, Prescott, Whittier and J. S. Fay. A number of 
volumes contain letters from a few specially chosen correspondents, 
with whom Sumner had much to do at times. 

2 In a letter to Elias Nason, dated Amesbury, 8th month, 1874, 
Whittier, in reference to Sumner's election, said, *' I am inclined to 
believe that I was the first to suggest to him, in the summer of 
1850, the possibility of his election to the Senate. He thought it im- 

[23] ' 

Though the letters here included are but a few of 
the many that remain, still they add to our knowledge 
of both men. The correspondence begins at the period 
when the anti-slavery men, who with Whittier believed 
that the emancipation of the slave, if brought about, 
must come through poHtical action, were considering 
what course to pursue in the Presidential election of 
1848. For two campaigns they had gone to the polls 
as the Liberty party, a third party, but the results, 
while encouraging, did not seem to bring any nearer 
the freedom of the slave. The party had not carried 
even one State, though by their influence they turned 
the scale in New York. 

By 1848 the slave power had grown aggressive, 
if not defiant. The Missouri Compromise, the An- 
nexation of Texas and the Mexican War had become 
facts and convinced these ardent workers that, in spite 
of their efforts, they were not making progress. They 
determined that the policy of compromise and of pro- 
crastination must cease, and that something must be 

The Whigs were being divided into two factions, 
differentiated by the epithets of Conscience and of 
Cotton. It needed but one decisive event to bring to- 
gether the aroused masses, and that event proved to 
be the nomination of a slave-holder, Zachary Taylor, 

practicable, and stated with emphasis, that he desired no office, that his 
plans of life did not contemplate anything of the kind, and that he 
greatly doubted his natural fitness for political life. He made no 
pledges nor explanations of any kind to insure his election when it took 

Elias Nason, Life of Charles Sumner (1874), ^42* 
In Whittier' s poem "To Charles Sumner" (^Poems, 196), he al- 
ludes to this ** large future shaped " for Sumner. 


for the Presidency in 1 848, and this nomination the 
Cotton Whigs endorsed. The indignant Conscience 
Whigs were stirred to action. They called the conven- 
tion at Worcester, which led Whittier to write the 
letter of 23rd 6th mo, 1848 (page 97). Five thou- 
sand attended, and the meetings had to be held in 
the open air. This was the beginning of the organized 
Free Soil party, which later became the Republican 
party of Lincoln's time. There are a number of let- 
ters that discuss the very complicated political situa- 
tion of that campaign as well as the local conditions 
later in Massachusetts, when the Free Soil party was 
throwing its influence with the Democrats as against 
the Whigs, one result being the election of Sumner 
as Senator in April, 1851. 

While the intense devotion of Whittier and of Sum- 
ner to the cause of emancipation may have been, in 
itself, a sufficient ground for their friendship, still it may 
be asked whether the fact that in their domestic and 
family relations there was a parallel may not also have 
drawn them to each other, and furthermore whether 
the isolated lives of these two who, by chance or choice, 
did not have the experiences of other men who estab- 
lished homes of their own, with the joys and duties, 
may not have been an additional bond. Each had the 
home ties of his childhood and youth still unbroken. 
The mother of each was living, active and strong, and 
at the head of her home. Each man was able to throw 
himself with great zeal into the cause of human free- 
dom, a zeal that might perhaps have been less effect- 
ive under other home conditions. The bitter feeling 
aroused against those who enlisted in the cause of 
emancipation was well known to each. From the time 


of the publication of "Justice and Expediency" in 
1833 Whittier had many an occasion to realize that he 
was not regarded with favor by a large part of the 
world, while the social ostracism of Sumner by those 
in Boston among whom he had lived his life, is a matter 
of history. 

The close and confidential relations of Whittier and 
Sumner, as shown in these letters, covering a quarter 
of a century of intense activity, warrant the inclusion 
of letters closely connected with the manuscripts at 
Oak Knoll. Some of them have been printed, but com- 
parison shows that in most instances some striking and 
pertinent phrases and sentences have been omitted. As 
each man was a master of English and determined to 
make his thought known to the other, it is but fair 
and right that the letters appear in full. 

The latest letters between Sumner and Whittier 
were written in times of storm and stress. The work 
of the cowardly Brooks in 1856 was telling on Sum- 
ner in his advancing years. To the new issues and the 
new men who were their advocates, Sumner could not 
readily accommodate himself and adjust his thought. 
It was to his old friend Whittier that he turned for the 
sympathetic support denied him elsewhere. On May 
31, 1872, Sumner delivered in the Senate a scathing, 
stinging philippic on " Republicanism vs, Grantism," 
which at that time, the campaign of Grant for a second 
term, aroused deep resentment, for he had attacked 
a popular idol. Whittier's loyal letter of sympathy 
(page 282) must have been welcome indeed, for Sum- 
ner was breaking ties with his political friends, and 
his attitude was not calculated to draw new ones to 


The speech against Grant was succeeded two months 
later by a letter written by Sumner which still further 
alienated those who had considered themselves bound 
politically to him. This letter was a long one, urging 
colored men to vote for Greeley, to which Garrison 
replied, warmly defending Grant (page i8i). The cor- 
respondence here included, reveals how deep was the 
friendship to which Sumner turned in his isolation 
which was now not sentimental but actual, and we 
therefore regret the more that Whittier could not com- 
ply, in part at least, with Longfellow's request (page 
190) that the poet write a life of the orator, though 
we do have the strong, tender, discriminating poem, 
"Sumner*' {Poems, 208). 

With the establishment of the "Atlantic Monthly" 
in 1857 there came a turn in Whittier's life which is 
reflected in the letters during the years that followed. 
He is no longer the adherent of an unpopular cause 
that calls for his verse to arouse the sleeping moral 
sense of the community, nor does he carry the respon- 
sibility of arranging the policies of political parties. He 
has become the man of letters, and he is included in 
the brotherhood so delightfully described by Holmes 
in his letter of September 7, 1 879. Lowell, too, recog- 
nizes Whittier as one of that group of rare men who 
cooperated in the beginnings of the "Atlantic." 

But the pleasure to be found in these letters is not 
in the historical allusion to the political strife, or even 
to the glorious uprising for human freedom. It is in 
the revelation of Whittier's delightful intercourse with 
his friends. Some who had years before borne with 
Whittier the burden of the slave, recall the experiences 
of their youth. Some write him from delight at writ- 


ing, for they loved the man, and they enjoy telling him 
that they take pleasure in the friendship. Others in 
addition show deep respect for his counsel and judg- 
ment. It is to be noted how many requests there are 
for Whittier's aid, and he seems ready to comply. 
There are situations suggested at times that seem to 
lead inevitably to action by Whittierjbut none is taken. 
Either his health does not permit, or his well-known 
aversion to appearing in public prevents. Or it may 
be that his Quaker principles stand in the way. Later 
in life, however, it is his counsel that men seek; they 
do not look for his personal presence. The result was 
that Whittier occupied a peculiarly strong position, for 
he suggested, while it was left to others to execute. 
In the event of delay or defeat, he was not the one on 
whom the responsibility was placed; it was rather on 
the men of action. And such counsellors are needed, 
for, as in Whittier's case, the sober, calm judgment of 
one who can view a matter from the outside and broadly, 
is of great value to those who are in the midst of the 
strife and may be confused by the turmoil. 

His anxiety about the Grimke sisters' course at a 
time when multitudes were waiting on their words ; his 
foresight that through a third party must success come, 
though slow, uncertain and wearisome at times might 
be its progress ; his judgment of men and of their re- 
spective capabilities for special duties ; all show that 
the confidence of his friends was well founded. And 
all this demonstrates too that the poet, for it is as a 
poet that Whittier will live, was not a dreamer, an 
austere ascetic, a recluse, who by chance was able to 
give expression to thoughts that the world of action 
gladly welcomes, but that he was a man among men. 

[a8 ] 

And so the inquiry as to the poet's personality per- 
sists, for that personality dominates the verse. 

The three men whose names are now closely as- 
sociated with Whittier's, Longfellow, Holmes, and 
Lowell, were clearly conventional in their manners 
and customs, and they mingled with their neighbors 
and with the world on equal terms. The reader does 
not feel that he must have a knowledge of the writer's 
personality in order to interpret the poems or under- 
stand the allusions. There is, of course, the interest 
that attaches to any author who attracts us, but it is 
not of the same kind or degree as that which leads us 
to study Whittier himself. And, while searching for 
facts about Whittier to see why he could and should 
give voice to such thoughts of love and of power, we 
find these words of warning : — 

" Why should the stranger peer and pry 
One's vacant house of life about, 
And drag for curious ear and eye 
His faults and follies out ? 

" Why stuff, for fools to gaze upon, 
With chaff of words, the garb he wore, 
As corn husks when the ear is gone 
Are rustled all the more ? 

" Let kindly Silence close again, 
The picture vanish from the eye, 
And on the dim and misty main 
Let the small ripple die." 

(" My Namesake," Poems^ 393') 

But because the experiences in his poems are his; the 
scenes are laid in his own county and his own valley ; 
the people are his neighbors, his friends, his family ; 

[^9 J 

and even in his religious verse, which has a fervor 
rarely found, there is still the tinge due to his personal 
interpretation of the faith of his ancestors, so there 
will always be the inquiry as to who and what was 
Whittier? And in these letters is the answer, for here 
can be seen his growth from the time of his first ex- 
tended absence from home, even before he enlisted in 
the cause of the slave, to the end of his long life sixty- 
two years later ; first the young editor ; then the anti- 
slavery worker; then the politician still pressing for 
emancipation in a practical way, by the ballot ; then 
the trusted friend of Sumner; and always the Quaker 
with his inherited traditions to be sustained and his 
personal faith to be lived. Meanwhile he is at work on 
his verse by which his fame is made secure. He makes 
new friends, sees new life and forms new associations, 
and these experiences appear in the letters. 

Though many of the writers have become subject to 
the pitiless, relentless operation of the Act of Oblivion 
which is gradually but surely extending over others, 
yet in their correspondence is preserved the intercourse 
of Whittier and his friends, through which we can see 
him, as they saw him, and we can learn why he rightly 
deserved and received the confidence, the respect, the 
love of his associates. 




Hartford, ^th of ^th month, 1 830. 
My Dear Mother : 

I have concluded it best to write this morning, 
because my paper of tomorrow contains an apology for 
not having more editorial matter in it, on account of 
my ill-health. The truth is I have had a tremendous 
cold — a sort of influenza, which is very prevalent at 
this time; and have been confined at home most of the 
time for a week or ten days past ; I am getting over 
it slowly. I have an excellent place here, at Esq. 
Law's ; all the family are very, very kind. His wife is 
one of the very best of women ; she is always ready to 
do anything for me. There are three young ladies 
boarding here — two of whom are now sick with this 
same influenza, so that we can all be unhappy together. 
Why, we have taken herb drink enough to carry a 
saw-mill four and twenty hours, — and as for medi- 
cine, I have had enough of that, and furthermore I 
have broken over the Temperance rules ; and gin-sling 
and brandy and laudanum are getting to be familiar 
to me. Don't mention this to Thayer.' By the way 
how does Thayer get along now ? A new paper has 
been got up there I see — by a poor, miserable, good 
natured fellow of a *******j but it won't live. It 
cannot possibly survive a twelvemonth. 

I got a letter from Mercy* the other day, and was 
» A. W. Thayer (i 796-1 864), editor of the Haverhill Gazette^ 
aided Whittier in many ways during the early years. 
* Mercy Evans Hussey, sister of Whittier* s mother. 
** The sweetest woman ever Fate 
Perverse denied a household mate.'* 

Snow- Bound, 


very glad to hear from you. I owe a letter to Frank- 
lin ' and shall let him have it soon. He wrote me a 
real good letter. How is Elizabeth? "* Does she write 
poetry now ? That " Penitent" of hers was well done — 
only if I had been at home I should have suggested 
an alteration. Tell her I shall come home in Novem- 
ber and will look over her pieces. Tell her to fill up 
the chest-drawer up in my chamber with them. How 
does Jacob and Mary Mo ? I know well enough whose 
work it was sending that poetry of E. to Thayer. I 
have n't forgotten the piece that was carried to Rein- 
hart."^ Does Jacob get my paper regularly ? I am afraid 
the papers of last week did n't reach Haverhill, as I 
did n't see to it myself. 

The folks here say that E. will make a better writer 
than her brother. Only think of that. — Oh! one of 
our female boarders is the girl that Prentice was dying 
for — almost — and he has written poetry enough to 
her to fill a meal-bag. The only gentleman boarder 
^ Matthew Franklin Whittier (1812-1883). 
*'Ah, brother, only I and thou 
Are left of all that circle now, — 
The dear home faces whereupon 
That fitful fireplace paled and shone." 

2 Elizabeth Hussey Whittier ( 1 8 1 5- 1 864) . 

** Our youngest and our dearest." 

3 Mary (i 806-1 860), Whittier's elder sister, wife of Jacob Cald- 

** A full, rich nature, free to trust. 

Truthful and almost sternly just. . . . 
Keeping with many a light disguise 
The secret of self-sacrifice. " 

4 E. W. Reinhart was for some months editor of the Haverhill 
Gazette^ preceding Thayer. Chase, Hist. Haverhill, 654. 


here is Dr. Crane — a clever young physician — who 
has been very kind to me ever since I have been here. 

The people here like me very well, I believe, and 
I do them. But I want to get back to Haverhill once 
more and spend a good time with you. Is Mary 
Hepsy with you now? My love to her, and to Uncle 
Jones' folks. How does Lois Chase get along now? 
Is she about getting married? If so, I am glad of it. 

But I must stop writing. I have been, except this 
cold, very well since I have been here. Tis a pleasant 
place: and full of clever people. Tell Elizabeth I am 
sorry she did not continue at the Academy. If she 
sees the village girls soon, let her give my love — 
almost — to them. 

John Greenleaf Whittier. 

Somebody must write soon. 


Boston^ I2tb 4/i? monthy '35. 
Dear Elizabeth : 

I am getting better slowly and the Doctor 
thinks I can be able to ride to Haverhill the latter 
part of this week, if nothing happens. I may pos- 
sibly come. Sixth day, if the weather is good/ At all 
events Aunt Mercy will come up from Salem that day, 
so somebody had better go to the village. And you 
will be likely to get one or the other of us, perhaps 
both. I rode out to Roxbury yesterday and to-day, 
although I don't like the east wind which is very 
chilly here. 

Tell Franklin that I shall bring home with me, or 
shortly after, a young ^^ nigger^' a bright active boy 
about 13, who is highly recommended as a well be- 
haved and intelligent youngster. He has always lived 
in the city, and I suppose it will take sometime to learn 
him to work, etc. but his school-master says he is very 

Geo. Thompson * visited me yesterday. He lectured 
in the afternoon to about 500 ladies and at the close 

^ The session of the Massachusetts Legislature in which Whittier 
served as a member from Haverhill, was nearing its close. 

* George Thompson ( 1 804-1 878), the English anti-slavery orator, 
arrived in the United States December, 1834. '« I was mobbed in 
Concord, N. H. [Sept. 1835] in company with George Thompson, 
afterwards member of the British Parliament, and narrowly escaped 
from great danger. I kept Thompson, whose life was hunted for, con- 
cealed in our lonely farmhouse for two weeks.'* From a privately 
printed broadside sent by Whittier to inquirers for facts about himself. 


of his Lecture 60 new members joined the Boston La- 
dies A-S. Soc'y. I wish very much to get home, but 
am somewhat fearful that the fatigue of the ride would 
be rather too much for me. If it is fair weather, Fifth 
day, and I am as well as usual, I may ride out as far as 
Reading and stay all night and so come up in the morn- 
ing to Hav'll. Love to Mother and all. 

J. G. Whittier. 


^ ^ Washing ton^ Dec, 14., 183c. 

Dear Sir : 

You will have noticed, undoubtedly, the pro- 
ceedings in Congress on the subject of slavery and the 
slave-trade in the District of Columbia ; but, without 
some explanation, you may be puzzled to understand 
the principle of the various votes ; for the debates them- 
selves furnish a very imperfect means of judgment in 
this case. 

Of the Massachusetts Delegation, Messrs. [Abbott] 
Lawrence, [Levi] Lincoln, [Stephen C] Phillips and 
[John] Reed, with myself, each on one occasion, voted 
for laying on the table, for reasons applicable to the 
particular occasions themselves, and wholly independ- 
ent of the merits of the question. Ingeneraly the Whigs 
and Antimasons from the Northern and Middle States 
voted, in various shapes, for receiving and committing 
the Petitions. This includes the Massachusetts Dele- 
gation. In general the pledged Van Bur en men voted 
for any and every proposition, which tended to evade 
the question or to suppress debate. With them, also, 
voted some individuals, who conscientiously thought, 
aside from party-politics, that such was the most ju- 
dicious course. 

The more zealous of the Southerners, such as th^ 
S. Carolinians, and some of the Georgians and Virgini- 
ans, voted with the Northern Whigs and Antimasons. 
Extremes meet. The Southerners voted against laying 


on the table, insisting on a summary rejection of the 
Petitions without inquiry ; and this caused them to 
caucus in vote with the Massachusetts Delegation, 
but for opposite reasons. We thought that good sense 
and justice dictated a disposition of the matter, though 
a Committee is the ordinary course of legislation. It 
is perfectly certain that the House will do nothing on 
the subject. About two thirds of the Members have 
by their votes and declarations, pledged themselves to 
dispose of all Petitions, so far as they may be able to 
get the floor, by the undehateahle motion to lay on the 

Members from Pennsylvania and the States east of 
it, have sundry Petitions already in their possession 
to present. I have heard that others are coming from 
Massachusetts. If they are respectful 2ind proper in lan- 
guage, we shall of course present them, for the sake 
of our constituents. At the same time, if you could see 
for yourself its unpleasant effects in reference to our 
views of ^^/^^r^/ usefulness here, you would understand 
why it is that we shall discharge this part of our duty 
to our constituents with a heavy heart. 

Some of the Southerners have agreed that the slave 
trade in this District is protected unchangeably by the 
Constitution ; they have proved the reverse to every 
reflecting mind. At the same time, while the debates 
and proceedings of the week have not shown the con- 
stitutional difficulties for which some have contended, 
they have shown the moral impossibility of accomplish- 
ing any thing in the present House. 

I knew that I could not write to you on any sub- 
ject of more interest to yourself; and I thought you 
might, perhaps, expect of me some information as to 


the course things are taking on this subject. You are 
aware how sensitive our people are in reference to this 
whole matter; and I therefore speak to yourself only, 
knowing that I may do so in confidence and without 

Very truly and respectfully, 

C. Gushing 
Mr. Whittier 

P. S. I beg of you, if any Petitions are to be sent 
to me, that they may be brief business papers^ free of 
the bitter language good Mr. G[arrisonj cultivates 
in the Liberator, 

From STEPHEN C. PHILLIPS^ (Confidential)^ 

Washington, 31 Deer. 1835. 
My Dear Sir: 

I wish to submit to you a few remarks upon 
the subject in which you feel so deep an interest, and 
of the importance of which I am equally convinced, 
the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia. 

You have noticed of course the discussions which 
have thus far taken place here. They exhibit great sen- 
sitiveness, desperate rashness, and a spirit of dictation 
on the part of the South, and far too much subser- 
viency on the part of the North. They show however 

* Stephen Clarendon Phillips was born in Salem, 1801, was gradu- 
ated at Harvard, 18 19, studied law but entered mercantile life in 
Salem. From 1 824 to 1833 he served either as Senator or Representa- 
tive in the Massachusetts Legislature. In 1834 he was elected to Con- 
gress as a Whig, succeeding Rufus Choate, and continued until 1838 
when he resigned and, in December of the same year, he became 
Mayor of Salem, remaining in office until March, 1 842. In 1 848 and 
again in 1849 ^^ "^^^ ^^^ candidate of the newly organized Free Soil 
party for Governor of Massachusetts. He was engaged in extensive 
lumbering interests in Canada where he lost his life in the burning of 
a steamer on the St. Lawrence, June 26, 1857. 

In the Salem Register y July 2, 1857, appeared the following : — 
**A fellow-member of Congress, Hardin of Kentucky, once ex- 
claimed on the floor of the House, ' If all the members of the House 
were Hke the gentleman from Massachusetts, God would never have 
repented that he made man.' '* 

2 The use of the word "confidential," which long since lost any 
significance it might have had here, shows what were the relations 
between the young Whittier and men holding high office. 


that the principal part which Northern men have been 
prevailed on to play in the miserable game (of which the 
Presidency is the prize) is to be ready to vote, as soon 
as called upon, to lay the subject on the table. This 
is an act of great weakness, but there is too much 
Northern blood in them to superadd outright treach- 
ery to the principles and institutions of the free States. 
They can degrade themselves to practise submission 
for a while; they can volunteer equivocal proof of their 
degeneracy ; but still they have given some evidence 
that if forced to decide whether they will openly sac- 
rifice their principles and absolutely surrender their 
rights, most of them will decide correctly, however re- 

Could the question have been reached upon the 
motion to reject petitions^ the great mass of Northern 
votes would have proved a formidable negative. Now 
the difference between rejecting petitions and laying 
them upon the table without debate in order to get 
rid of them, although so long as it is misunderstood, 
it may satisfy their political consciences, must so soon 
come to be regarded by others, and finally to be ad- 
mitted by themselves as no difference at all, that there 
must before long be a time when either motion will 
share the same fate, and when neither can be sustained. 
From the necessary action of public opinion, con- 
stantly aided by the violence of the attempt to 
resist it, the course of Congress upon this subject 
must be onward — slowly it may be, — but surely 

Now what I wish to suggest to you is, that the 
next step after the failure of the motion to lay petitions 
upon the table without debate, (which will fail at first 


from the temporary co-operation of those who are will- 
ing for debate from opposite motives) will be to attempt 
to reject them by means of a debate, in which the mer- 
its of the petitions will be closely scrutinized, and what- 
ever there is in them of inconclusive reasoning, extrav- 
agant statement and harsh allusion, will be denounced 
as sophistry, fanaticism, and disrespect. 

Thus far scarcely any of the petitions have been read, 
and none of them printed, and but few have taken the 
trouble to ascertain their contents, so that if they have 
fallen short of what they should have been, it has not 
been of much consequence ; but I confess I am very 
desirous that, as soon as we can prevail upon the House 
to hear, to print and to discuss them, we should have 
such petitions as will do justice to the object in view, 
breathing a spirit of pure benevolence, and exhibiting 
the strongest facts and clearest arguments in a form of 
language manifestly unexceptionable. 

I wish there were just such petitions here now, and 
that all which are to come during the present Session 
might be of this character ; since they might be used 
with great effect, even under all the disadvantages of 
the position we occupy. Many of the petitions are not 
prepared, as it seems to me, with due discretion, for 
they are not adapted to the existing circumstances of 
Congress. They contain no argument, and furnish no 
evidence that the question has been well examined. 
They show no acquaintance with facts in relation to 
slavery in the District, and they are not sufficiently 
limited to this object. Above all their style and lan- 
guage are in several respects injudicious, and are too 
much calculated to inflame the feelings before the judg- 
ment is appealed to. 


I beg you to understand me. I want the whole case 
to be fully stated, with the strictest accuracy in regard 
to facts, and without resorting to a single argument 
which is not unanswerable. It is perfectly in your 
power to place these petitions upon the strongest 
grounds of fact and reasoning, and I therefore would 
advise you not to attempt to occupy any but the strong- 
est grounds. In respect to the temper and style, it is 
perfectly compatible with firmness and decision to be 
scrupulously respectful, courteous, and withal concilia- 
tory, and the marked predominance of these qualities 
will contribute much to recommend the petitions to a 
candid notice, and at least will deprive opponents of 
the principal food for their malice. 

I content myself with making these suggestions to 
you, and trust that your influence will be such, in the 
preparation of future petitions, that some at least shall 
find their way here of the most desirable character. 

I have read Dr. Channing's book with deep interest, 
and the greater part of the reply to it with entire dis- 
satisfaction. Your remarks upon Dr. C.*s book, which 
I read in the Essex Register,' were extremely interest- 
ing and gratifying to me. 

Please consider this letter as designed for yourself 
only, and believe me to be, with great regard, 

Your friend, 

S. C. Phillips 

J. G. Whittier, Esqr. 

^'*. . . Dr. Channing objects to the system of ' agitation ' pur- 
sued by the Abolitionists. He does not like the idea of holding socie- 
ties together by passionate eloquence. . . . Why deprecate agitation, 
lawful, peaceful. Christian agitation ? Under God has it not broken 
the fatal sleep and disturbed the callous indifference of our whole com- 


munity ? Does Dr. Channing need to be told that four years ago a 
silence on this subject deep as death, rested over the whole land ? . . . 
A friend of mine who visited Washington during the past summer told 
me that he entered the counting room of one of the slave factories, and 
that while he conversed with the clerks of the establishment, he heard 
constantly from the jail-like receptacle of human property the clank 
and rattle of chains.'* 

Communication to Salem Register y Dec. 17, 
1835, signed, '*J. G. W., Haverhill." 


Harrisburgy ^rd of the ind Mo, 1837. 

My dear Sister : 

I wrote thee a long (or short) letter some time 
ago, in hopes of getting an immediate answer — but 
as none has appeared I now write a line from the capi- 
tol of Pennsylvania, one hundred and ten miles into 
the heart of the Commonwealth. 

I left Phila^ on Seventh day in a double sleigh with 
Dr. Dilwyn Parish, Chas. Evans and Edw'J M. Davis, 
son in law of Lucretia Mott. That day we got to Coates- 
ville, 48 miles, and at about 8 o*clk in the evening put 
up at our friend's, Lindley Coates. He lives in a beau- 
tiful farming country, in a large rambling, odd look- 
ing stone house with piazzas running round it; his 
barns, out buildings, etc. are very numerous and, being 
all built of stone, give his place the appearance of a 
village or baronial castle. The old man received us 
cordially. We found C. C. Burleigh there. 

The next morning we started again, passed through 
the large ill-looking town of Lancaster, the fine village 
of Mount Joy, the beautiful Friends meeting house of 
Colne and stopped all night at Middletown, about 12 
miles from Harrisburg. In the morning, after a fine 
ride of about a hours along the banks of the Susque- 
hanna and by the beautiful quarries of marble of all 
hues and descriptions, amidst a population of broad 
faced Germans, we caught the first view of the fine 
bridge spanning the noble river. Soon Harrisburg lay 


before — a huge collection of dingy houses of all sizes 
and patterns, thrown confusedly together — with the 
Capitol or State House looming in the grey mist of 
the morning. We rode to Wilson*s, who married the 
nearest descendant now living of William Penn. 

Notice was given that there would be a preliminary 
meeting of the delegates in the afternoon. On going 
out I encountered an army of delegates from Lan- 
caster County, led on by Lindley Coates and Thos. 
Whitson — all Quakers and as plain and ugly as so 
many Isaiah Pages, but unlike him in principles, 
talents and high respectability. The next day the Con- 
vention to the number of 200 assembled. Dr. J. Julius 
Le Moyne ' — a tall, large man about 40 years of age 
— with a face like Daniel Webster, a man of com- 
manding influence and talents and a most powerful 
and eloquent speaker, was appointed President of the 
Convention. Orange Scott and A. A. Phelps^ and 
Lewis Tappan were present on this occasion. 

The Convention adjourns to-day, after a session of 
four days; a large number of the Senate and House of 
Representatives attended the meetings. I spent an 
evening with Gov^ Ritner who is a warm hearted abo- 
litionist. He is about 60 years of age, large and full 
faced. He came to the door when we knocked, him- 

' This was not Dr. John Julius Le Moyne (i 760-1 849), but his 
son, Dr. Francis Julius Le Moyne (i 798-1 879) of Washington, 
Penn., where in 1 876 he built the first crematory in the United States, 
not however with the entire approval of his neighbors. Crumrine, Hist. 
of Washington Co. Penn.y 544. 

* Rev. A. A. Phelps (i 804-1 847). At this time he was pastor of the 
church, corner of Washington and Pine Streets, Boston, and Secre- 
tary of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. During 1 847 his name 
appeared with Whittier's as an associate editor of the National Era. 

[ 48 ] 

self, shook us heartily by the hand ; and in German 
accents told us he "wast glad to see us." He is very 
intelligent, is perfectly at home on most subjects — 
especially as regards matters pertaining to abolition. 
His son was a delegate to the Convention. 

Pbiladelphiay ^th id mo. 37. 
at A, JV. layers. 

We got back last night about 4 o'clk from Harris- 
burg. We started in the Rail Road cars at 4 o'clk in 
the morning. We stopped at Lancaster to take break- 
fast. On sitting down at the table there was found to 
be a colored man. Rev. Chas. Gardner, a Presbyterian 
minister, in the company. Suddenly some one said, 
" There 's a nigger at the table." The bar keeper laid 
hold of the man and pulled his chair from under him. 
Dr. Lemoyne rose and demanded that a vote should 
be taken whether the colored man should sit at the 
table. The bar keeper agreed to it. The question was 
put and carried in the affirmative, as there were 50 
abolitionists present. Upon this the landlord entered. 
Ten young men from slave-holding States happened 
to be present. One of them, dressed hideously in a buf- 
falo skin, drew out his pistols and brandished his dirk. 
The landlord dragged the colored man from the table. 
Dr. Le Moyne rose from the table and we all followed, 
paid the scoundrel for a breakfast which we had not 
eaten, and bought our breakfast in the streets and gro- 
ceries. To-night I believe Burleigh and Scott and Dr. 
Lemoyne will lecture, but I shall not probably attend. 

I shall spend a few days in Philad^. and then start 
for home, as I cannot find the employment which I 
wish for in Philad% and have had an urgent request to 

C 49 ] 

go to Maine and take charge of an anti-slavery paper 
in Portland. 

All the folks here send their love. I am as ever 
with love to Mother and Aunt Mercy and Uncle and 
Aunt Jones and Ann and Jacob and Mary and all. 

J. G. Whittier 


New Torky iStb '-jth mo, [1837] 
Dear Sister: 

Well, have our friends the Grimkes' been 

with you yet, and if so how did you like them ? I 

am sure they are calculated to do a great deal of good. 

There is nothing new in this city; it is a general 
time of health; there is little business stirring and the 
people are moving into the country. 

My health is now pretty good. I have been in- 
vited to go up and spend a day or two in West Chester 
Co. by Jos. Pierce, father of Abigail Pierce, formerly 
teacher in Providence School, and also at Long Island. 
I think I shall go in a few days to one or the other of 
these places. 

As I could not do anything immediately at Port- 
land, perhaps it is best for me to be here. My board, 
expenses etc., are heavy, being at the rate of $6.50 per 
week, — my compensation is %%Q per month. Will 
thee write me soon? I am very anxious to hear from 
you, not having heard a syllable from you since I left. 
I cannot account for the reason. How is sister Mary ? 
I want to write her, but have been so much engaged 
that I have hardly found time. 

There are some beautiful places in the outskirts of 
New York. The city itself is a dirty place, but our 
office is on the Park, — a beautiful green — sur- 
rounded with fine shade trees and enjoying a cool 

' Appendix B, p. 265. 

[51 ] 

breeze. In the warm evenings thousands of people are 
walking in it. The weather thus far, has not been very- 
hot, and I am inclined to think that it is no warmer 
here than in Amesbury, inasmuch as the sea-breeze 
counteracts the effects of a more Southern latitude. 
There are some parts of the city too dirty to visit. 
Boston is a perfect Shaker village for neatness, com- 
pared to New York. 

I have written this letter almost entirely for the pur- 
pose of getting an answer to my other letters, and shall 
think very strange if one is not forth-coming. Love to 
Mother, Aunt Mercy and all. 

J. G. Whittier. 

Mother says I must write in this letter and tell thee 
to write to Greenleaf, but my pen is so bad that I 
shall do no such thing. 

M. F. Whittier 

Amesbury, July 29*^ 


Office of Am. AS. Soc. 

[New York, 8th Mo. 1837.] 
Dear Sister : 

I send thee a line just to let thee know that I 
have not forgotten thee, and the rest of the folks. I 
have written two or three times to Elizabeth, but not 
a word in answer, has reached me. I expected, when I 
left home, to have gone direct to Maine — but the 
hard times coming on just as the paper was to have 
started, compelled them to abandon the idea until 
things looked more favorable. Under these circum- 
stances and feeling it to be necessary to do something, 
I concluded to go to New York, although I dislike the 
place very much — especially in the summer season. 

I am boarding in the family of a Spanish gentle- 
man, F. De Loyo, a brother in law of Chas. Stuart' 
The city is healthy as usual, at this season. Theodore 
D. Weld and James A. Thorne are here with me. 
We have a very comfortable time, considering all 
things. I do not labor very hard, and take what ex- 
ercise I can. The last week has been one of the hot- 
test I ever knew ; it is almost as much as one's life is 
worth to venture into the sunshine as it falls blazing 
hot on the white pavements. 

The cause of Abolition is going on well in all parts 
of the country. By the time Congress meets there will 

^ Charles Stuart (178 3- 1865), an officer in the English Army who 
came to the United States to enter anti-slavery work. He planned to 
establish here a manual training school for Negroes, for which he had 
already collected ^1000 in England. 


be petitions enough to break all the tables in the Capi- 
tol, ready for delivery. How do the Haverhill socie- 
ties get along? I understand Ames has backed out. 

I have visited some in Friends' families since I have 
been here. The Orthodox Friends have only one 
meeting, — the Hicksites three. They have little or no 
intercourse with each other. 

Have you heard anything from Franklin? I saw 
him in Boston on his way to the West, but have not 
heard one syllable from him since. He talked of go- 
ing to Michigan — whether he did or not 1 cannot say. 
I furnished him with letters to Isaac E. Crary, mem- 
ber of Cong, from Mich, and to Thomas Chandler, 
and others. 

H. B. Stanton'' is now in Mass. and will probably 
visit Haverhill before he returns. He will tell thee 
how we are getting along here. How does WiUiam do ? 
I saw him a few moments in Boston. Tell Jacob ^ that 
[Marcus] Morton will come in Governor this year, if 
the abolitionists take the precaution to propose ques- 
tions to him and [Edward] Everett touching the sub- 
ject of Slavery. Have thee seen Miss Martineau's 
book ? 'T is very interesting. I have received a long 
letter from Henry Clay^ on the subject of Slavery, 
etc. He professes to be opposed to Slavery, but is not 
an abolitionist. I am anxious to hear from some of 
you. Mother's health when I left, was not good. Re- 
member me kindly to Jacob and believe me thy af- 
fectionate Brother y ^ ^^t- 

John G. Whittier 

^ Then a fellow worker in the New York office. 
* Jacob Caldwell was proprietor of the Essex Gazette of Haver- 
hill in 1836 when Whittier was its editor. 
3 Printed in Carpenter, Whittier, 156. 


^th day evening [_Sept. 1837.] 
My dear brother Greenleaf: 

Franklin ^ has brought me his letter to finish. 
What a reporter of our speech makers ! Franklin gets 
along just as when thee was here ; is in good spirits 
however. Aunt Mercy is at home, and we are com- 
fortable. How do thee do? When shall we see thy 
book ? I suppose thee are to appear as author ^^ found 
two niggers heads between.'^ We here have been re- 
monstrating with the Honorables again, and I [torn] 
made another pilgrimage of our village with Bunyans 
rolls — and we sent the remonstrance of Sally Chase 
and 195 others ! All the names were obtained by my- 

23. I can fancy how Joshua ^ managed with the run- 
aways — (how queer ! thee and Joshua, xhy first school- 
mastery acting in concert in such great matters.) Are 
you not venturing somewhat in publishing names, 
places and so on ? I hope thee have a good boarding 
place and are comfortable. I have not seen Mary since 
thee left. I liked the report well. 

Mrs. Chapman talks a little like one not in the 

^ Matthew Franklin Whittier. Whittier himself was known in the 
family as ** Greenleaf," and by the Quakers as ** John G. Whittier"; 
the first name only was seldom used in addressing him. 

2 Joshua Coffin, "My Old Schoolmaster," Poems, 190. His life 
is in Memorial Biographiesy New England Historic Genealogical So- 
ciety, vi, I (1905). 


body. What did you make an agent of J. T. Wood- 
bury for ? A [bby] Kelly ' says she " don't like you at 
New York. You shall have none of her money and 
none from Lynn." Robert Scott sends his love and 
thanks to thee for thy trouble in finding the Morri- 
sons. He will go in the Factory now. When will thee 
write again and when will thee come home ? I have 
put thy "Stanzas to Henry Clay" in my scrapbook. 
I must think he is honest. Won't thee write to him. 
How is Weld? 

Aunt Mercy says they almost made a James Nay- 
ler* of H. C. Wright in Lynn; they concluded his 
views must be maintained in preference to Abolition- 
ism, and will thee believe it, Uncle Isaiah was fore- 
most in the belief. Only think of Uncle Isaiah get- 
ting so excited as to go from house to house, to hear 
H. C. W. talk ! So thee see the danger of fanaticism.^ 
Shall we not hear from thee soon again ? With love 
for thee from Mother and Aunt Mercy and much 
from myself — farewell. E. 

^ Appendix C, p. 268. 

* Nayler (1616-1660) was a soldier in Cromwell's army, and 
then an adherent of George Fox. Through his eloquence he attracted 
great crowds, and he was regarded as a new incarnation of the divine. 
Though his mind became impaired, he was imprisoned, scourged and 
branded. At last his mind cleared and his old friends came to his aid. 
His life is the subject of an essay by Whittier, Prose Works, ii, 69. 

3 Appendix D, p. 270, 


Amesburyy Feb, Stb^ 1838. 
Dear Brother : 

At the request of Elisabeth, who says it gives 
the "headache" to write, I write to inform thee that 
we are all as well as when thee left. Aunt Mercy re- 
turned from Lynn about three weeks since. Mother 
has been as well as usual this winter. I was at Jacob's 
about a week since, all well. Uncle Jones' family the 

Elisabeth has been on the " qui vive " for some 
days past, expecting Harriet Minot* to whom she has 
written, requesting her to come down and stay a week 
or two. Doct. Harris is in a state of " betweenity." 
His " peace " principles as laid down by Henry Wright, 
and also the " anti-observe-the-Sabbath " views have 
almost swallowed up his abolitionism, although he 
made quite a " pretty " speech the other night. As near 
as t can recollect, it was thus : — 

" My friends, I have been thinking while we have 
been here, that it 's an awful thing for the dealers in 
human flesh to separate families, carrying the husband 
one way, the wife another, a-a-an-d the children still 
another. And I could but reflect on what my feelings 
must be, should I go home to-night and find my little 
ga-a-al " (here his feelings overpowered him and after 

» Harriet Minot, daughter of Stephen Minot of Haverhill ; a com- 
panion of Elizabeth Whittier's in the ami- slavery riot at Haverhill, 
August, 1835. Pickard, Whittier, 148. 


taking time to recover and wiping his eyes very appro- 
priately with his coat sleeve, he proceeded) " should 
find my little ga-a-1 car-carried off — Oh !^ — O — O 
how I sho-o-o-ould feel — ." So that thee will per- 
ceive that though the "ginowine feenatical" feelings 
may be in a measure lost, he still contains the "root 
of the matter." 

Dea. Carruthers is well and busy. Auld Rorbit Scott 
was at Mother's the other evening; he says as he shall 
shortly go to work in the factory it is of no consequence 
about the yarn or Morrison. 

The " Reservoir " was suspended a few weeks to 
make room for the " Daily Monitor," but was recom- 
menced this morning. 

Why don't thee send some papers ? Mark M. F. W. 
on them and direct to the "News and Courier," and 
they will come free of postage. 

My writing school was rather a failure though I 
keep it going. Just as I commenced, the factories com- 
menced working in the evening until 8, whereby I lost 
about one half of my scholars and I now [have] only 
about 14. 

I know of nothing else to write about and will leave 

In haste, thine truly 

M. F. Whittier. 


Philadelphia, i/i^th nth Mo, 38. 

Dear Sister Elizabeth ; 

I send thee with this, a copy of my poetry,' 
and one for sister Mary. I wish I had something better 
to send. I forward also a vest and cap which may be 
of some service to brother F. I am very anxious to 
know how he succeeded in the Portland matter. 

I reached here two weeks ago tonight, pretty well 
tired out, and was quite unwell for some days, but am 
better now. 

Wendell's folks were greatly disappointed because 
thee did not come on with me. Never mind, thee will 
be here this next spring, if nothing happens. If thee see 
Harriet, mind tell her I meant to keep my word and 
call again, but was not able to. 

Ann Wendell is not quite so well as usual. Isaac's 
[Wendell] establishment was destroyed by fire while 
I was at Amesbury. The loss is mostly covered by 
insurance. Still it is bad for his business. 

We Hve very comfortable here. Joseph and Rachel 
Healey are very good folks and we get along well. I 
have a fine room in the 3*^ story, with a small cast iron 

^ PoemshY]o\in G. Whittier, Philadelphia, 1838 ; 180 pp. During 
the summer of 1838 Whittier had been collecting and preparing the 
material for this volume which was published by Healey, with whom 
he was living. This was the first collection to have Whittier' s super- 
vision ; that printed by Knapp of Boston the previous year, it is said, 
was issued without his knowledge. 


Stove in it, in which I have a fire occasionally. I burn 
wood instead of coal, as the latter affects my throat 
unpleasantly. The weather has been very fine for this 
past week, warm and comfortable, until today when 
we have had a few flakes of snow. 

In regards to the cause of abolition everything here 
goes on as usual ; only I think more actively. Our 
meetings are frequent and well attended and new con- 
verts are multiplying. 

I am desirous of getting a letter from " the Master," 
just to learn how he manages the affairs of the village 
in conjunction with Butler, Lunt and Deacon Moody 
and others. 

Remember me kindly to all the friends and write 

J. G. W. 


Philadelphia, loth, 6th Mo, 1839 
Dear Mother and Sister and all: 

I write a line for fear my letter by C. T. Torrey ' 
did not reach you, which I forwarded from the New 
York meeting. I have been quite ill since, but am a 
good deal better now, whether permanently or not, I 
cannot tell. 

1 have decided to leave the Freeman for a time. I 
would go to Europe, if I could do so without taking 
upon myself duties and responsibiUties which would 
prevent my deriving benefit on the score of health. As 
it is, I shall, I think, visit Gerrit Smith, and spend 
some time in travelHng in Western New York, and I am 
in hopes by so doing to recover my usual state of health. 

On Sixth day next I expect to go to Bordentown 
and Crosswicks in N. J. on a visit to my friend Saml 
Allinson ^ for whom I was one of the four grooms- 
men on Fifth day last at Arch Street Meeting. I shall 
be absent only a few days. My health is not so good, 

' Rev. Charles T. Torrey (18 13-1846), a minister in Salem in 
1838, entered the anti-slavery work, and in 1844 was convicted at 
Baltimore of aiding slaves to escape, for which he was sentenced to 
six years' imprisonment. He died in prison in 1846. *'The Funeral 
of Torrey," Prose Works, ii, 271. 

2 Samuel Allinson and his brother William, both Quakers, were 
associates of Whittier in his anti-slavery vi^ork. Samuel lived on his 
farm near Crosswicks, N. J., and continued his philanthropic work, 
especially in his later years, when he was active in establishing the 
Reform School for boys and girls near Hightstown, N. J. 


[6i ] 

all things considered, as when I left home last. I have 
not so much pain in the side, but more in the back and 
chest, and I have scarcely any strength to boast of. 

But all is right, and I feel no disposition to mur- 
mur at the dispensations of Providence. I have already 
many blessings to be thankful for. 

I am glad to hear from Elizabeth, that she is going 
to Weare. I should like to go there myself. 

Margaret and Ann Wendell start on Sixth day for 
Newport and so do Jos. and Rachel Healey. Ann 
Wendell is apparently somewhat better. Thayer's folks 
are well as usual. 

Love to Aunt Mercy and to Sister Mary and Jacob, 
Uncle Jones and family, and most especially to Master 
Griiiin. Tell him that I feel compunctions of con- 
science, because I have not written him. 
Affectionately as ever, 

John G. Whittier. 


[Philadelphia^ July^ \^'^^^ 
My Dear Mother: 

I send thee with this a miniature of myself, 
taken by an artist of this City. It is a rough painting, 
but is called a good likeness. My health is about as 
good as it has been, but by no means good. I shall 
start to-morrow for the West. I shall probably go on 
as far as Cincinnati (free of expense), and be back in 
about 3 weeks. Moses A. Cartland ' will take care of 
the Freeman during my absence, and perhaps longer. 
The summer here thus far has been comfortable com- 
pared with last year. 

Love to all. I shall write soon. 

J. G. W. 

^ Moses A. Cartland was Whittier's cousin, "afterwards widely- 
known as a successful teacher." Whittier, Poems , 202. 


Philadelphia y '-jth Mo. 17, 39. 
Dear Sister : 

I write thee a line to let thee know that I am 

not entirely forgetful of thee, and Jacob and the rest 

of the folks, but that I am very anxious to hear how 

you all do. My health has been very miserable — 

what the result will be I cannot tell — -but I have been 

compelled to give up, in some measure, my paper and 

to try to recruit a little.' 

I have been up in the centre of the State — to Bed- 
ford Mineral Springs — over the mountains — the 
"great Alleghanies." It was very tedious travelling, 
and fatigued me very much. We passed over one 
ridge of the Alleghanies on Sixth day evening last, 
between the hours of 10 and 12 o'clk at night. The 
driver drove his horses upon the gallop down the 
mountain, along the very edge of a precipice several 
hundred feet deep, opening into the rocky valley 
between two mountain summits. It was a frightful 
way of travelling. I am now at home, and am at a loss 
to know whether the trip has benefited me or not. 

I shall next week probably go into the interior, and 
shall be at the great Albany Convention,^ if my health 
permits. I wish Elizabeth would come on to New 

^ Appendix E, p. 272. 

* At the Albany Convention Whittier was a member of the business 
committee, on which Garrison had refused to serve. This committee 
submitted a proposition, which, having been adopted, led ultimately to 
the formation of a new political party. Fide Garrison, ii, 309. 

[ 64 ] 

York in company with some one who will attend the 
Convention and go up with me to Albany and Sara- 
toga Springs. Could she not do it? Could she not 
start so as to go with some body from Boston ? I will 
write to Amos A. Phelps and ask him to let Elizabeth 
know when he is going to start for the Convention. 
This can do no harm, and she can then do as she 
pleases about it. I will meet her in New York, or 
get Theodore D. Weld to do so, and take her up to 
his beautiful homestead on the Hudson, lo miles from 
the city. 

Remember me kindly to Jacob. Tell him that he 
cannot do better than to take a trip out into Pennsyl- 
vania with thee, just to look at our Pennsylvania farms 
and farmers. Moses A. Cartland is on here for the 
present, and is terribly homesick already, but I hope he 
will soon feel better about it. 

I am now staying with Cousin Wendell's folks while 

Joseph Healey's wife is at home, at her father's in New 

England. I am anxious to hear from you but perhaps 

it will not be best to direct a letter to me at Philad \ 

for I am not certain that I shall be here for any length 

of time. 

Love to All. 

Jno. Greenleaf Whittier. 


Steamer Charier Oak 

Monday Evening, April 6, 40. 
Dear Friend : 

Our Abolitionist of this week will tell you 
more than I can now amidst this terrible drumming, 
about the Albany Convention. Birney and Earle are 
nominated ; the latter for V. P., after reading from 
him a thoroughly democratic letter. Birney we know 
will stand. We hoped Earle might, or might be made 
to. He may be assured that all who go for the rights 
of the colored man, will go as he does for the rights 
of the uncolored. 

Now that the nomination is made, it is very import- 
ant there should be no backing out, and I would sug- 
gest that if you so think, you should drop a letter to 
Earle full of the right counsel on this point. You 
probably stand higher in his regard than any other 
man. Harrison you will have seen has endorsed his 
Vincennes Speech, and is pronounced by the Charles- 
ton Courier! as on a par with Van Buren as a sup- 
porter of the patriarchs. This takes away the whole 
argument for choosing the least of two evils. 

I hope to see you very soon. Thanks for your kind 
and wise letter' of the 25 th ult. It indicated the true 
policy, in case we could not have found a good man to 
stand for the first office. But, on the whole, we could 
not have had a better man than Birney. He is equal 
' In Appendix F, p. 274. 


to the other candidates, to say the least, in all qualifi- 
cations — in heart, infinitely superior to either. Our 
friends in New York all seem quite reconciled. We 
shall have a small vote no doubt, but not a despicable 
nor a despised one. Let them come on with their black- 
ball — we are ready for it all — the mud will roll oflF 
and leave its object the brighter. Abolitionists who 
have not abjured their suffrage, will now feel the com- 
fort of a candidate who truly, in his own flesh and 
blood, and heart of hearts, represents their principles. 
I shall be at home after Wednesday night, and hope 
to see you before the week passes away. 
Yours for the House, 

E. Wright, Jr. 


Philadelphia, ^th c^th mo, 1840. 
Dear Sister : 

I am now writing at friend Wendell's. I ar- 
rived at New York safely, stopped at Isaac Pierce's 
until 3"^ day of the week, then came on to Philad^3 ' — 
had a very fatiguing ride — and have been somewhat 
unwell, but am now about as usual. 

Cousin Isaac is quite unwell, has been very much 
so, but is better. Mary J. is also unwell — but can 
teaze as well as ever. Ann is still improving in health. 
I have seen the Lloyds, Nicholsons, etc. They all 
speak a great deal of thee. Henry Peterson called on 
me the next day after my arrival — enquired about thee. 

James Mott and L[ucretia], Sarah Pugh, Mary 
Grew,^ Elizabeth J. Neall, Abby Kimber, s,nd perhaps 
C. C. Burleigh go on the f^' 

Only think of it. H. B. Stanton^ it is rumored, 

^ To attend the meeting of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. 
* «* She did the v^^ork she found to do, — 
A Christian hero, Mary Grew.'* 

"How Mary Grew," Poems, 207. 

3 Delegates from the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society to the 
World's Anti-Slavery Convention at London, where all refrained from 
taking part because on their arrival the women were denied recognition 
as delegates. Joseph Sturge had intimated that such might be the result, 
if women were appointed. Hallowell, Mott, 146, and Garrison, 

ii. 353- 

4 Stanton married Elizabeth Cady, May i, 1840, and sailed May 
1 2th for London as a delegate from the American Anti-Slavery Society 
of New York. 


will get married and go out with his woman to 
Europe ! 

I have been sorely tempted to go to England — 
but I have not dared to act against my better judg- 
ment. My health I do not think will be equal to such 
a task — and so I have notified the Committee to find 
a substitute for me. C. C. B. will perhaps go. I shall 
be out of the City in Bucks in a few days. Have seen 
R. [or P.] Sanborn, Mary Needles, and all send their 
best love to thee. 

I saw D. Breed in N. Y. — is well and enquired par- 
ticularly about thee. 

Stanton wants the poetry thee promised him. I 
dined yesterday with Ruth Barrett — W""'' mother. 
She is distressed at the idea of his leaving the Society 
— it is a hard [blow] for her. 

Ann, Margaret, and Mary and all here wish me to 
give their best love. Marg! is sick, or would write. 

Excuse this hasty scrawl ; I have penned it in great 

Love to Mother and Aunt Mercy and to all. 

John G. Whittier. 


Dear Friend: 

Though we are personally unknown to each 
other I am about to open my mind to thee as to a very 
old and intimate friend. I am seriously intending to 
pay a private visit to America for a few weeks or per- 
haps months, principally with the following objects ; 
to promote an entire unity of action and cooperation 
between the British and Foreign Anti Slavery Society 
and the American and Foreign Anti Slavery Society, 
including all thsLt will act upon our principles and not 
mix up other truths with it; to ascertain the feeling and 
judgment of our sound American Friends as to the 
propriety of holding any future Convention, and if 
they are in favor of it, when and where it should be 
held ; to see privately if there are any means of remov- 
ing the objections which have hitherto prevented our 
American Friends from taking part in the movements 
of Anti Slavery Societies, provided they are both in the- 
ory and practise kept entirely distinct from all other 
matters, apart and distinct from the Anti Slavery object 
I mean ; also to take the opportunity of ascertaining, 
as I go along, what elements there are in America for 

^ Joseph Sturge (1793— 1859), ^ successful merchant of Birming- 
ham, England, a Quaker and a philanthropist, founded the British and 
Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. On his return to England from his jour- 
ney he published A Fisit to the United States in 1841, in which 
Whittier's name frequently occurs, though through ill health he could 
not be with Sturge the entire time. 

[ 70 ] 

holding at a future period a conference of nations for 
the formation of permanent and universal peace. 

My intention is to avoid altogether appearing and 
especially speaking in public (for which latter I am 
quite unqualified, if there was no other objection), but 
to meet in private parties the persons who may most 
be depended upon for properly working our cause. 
The earliest time I look to leaving England is by 
the British ^een on the lo*^ of next month, and if 
I go at all, which is yet very uncertain, I may not go 
till near a month later. 

Now thou wilt see that on such an expedition I 
shall want a companion, uniting with my views and 
with a pretty general knowledge of the individual 
character and standing, both of the abolitionists and 
the members of the Society of Friends in your land, 
and I write to ask thee to be kind enough to be that 
companion, of course allowing me to pay every kind 
of expense etc., to which such a journey might sub- 
ject thee. 

At all events allow me to press upon thee that in 
the event of my writing thee by the next Boston Steam 
Packet to say I am arriving by the British ^een, thou 
wilt be kind enough to be in New York to meet me 
to give me thy advice and council, and if our friends 
there should unite in opinion that it will be [well] for 
thee to accompany me, thou wilt feel it a duty from 
which thou canst not feel excused. I am aware that 
thy health may appear to thee to be a sufficient objec- 
tion, and if it is, this is a point upon which I cannot 
of course say a word to urge thee beyond thy strength, 
but I am not without hopes that the journey might be 
of service to thee in this respect. 


I am rather anxious my journey, and especially the 
precious objects of it, should not be known at present. 
But I find it is already known here, more than I could 
wish, and there is a Friend of the name of Morris from 
Philadelphia who goes by the President, who will 
probably mention the fact of my intention to go to 
America. But if I write any other letter by this Packet 
it will be only a few lines in strict confidence to one 
of our New York Friends and without telling him that 
I have made any communication to thee. Thou wilt 
please to clearly understand I mean to come without 
any credentials or the representative of any body, 
simply as a private individual; my reason for this I 
can more fully explain if we meet. 

Very sincerely and respectfully, 

Joseph Sturge ' 

Birmingham, 2/9, 1841. 

^ ** Tender as a woman, manliness and meekness 
In him were so allied 
That they who judged him by his strength or weakness 

Saw but a single side. 
Men failed, betrayed him, but his zeal seemed nourished 

By failure and by fall ; 
Still a large faith in human-kind he cherished. 
And in God's love for all." 
'*In Remembrance of Joseph Sturge," Poems, 199. 


^ ^ Washinzton^ ii March. 1841. 

Dear Sir: ^ ' ^ 

I have yours of the 2nd and 24th February. 
You saw by the Atlas ' that I declined being a candi- 
date for the Senate. To this end, I was partly impelled 
by the reasons which I have stated to you; and partly 
by others. I did not wish to be the cause of any di- 
vision aniong the Whigs in the Legislature. Above 
all, I did not desire anything from them, unless it were 
a spontaneous, united, free-will offering, for public con- 
siderations and objects. And such an act there was 
little cause to expect from a Legislature which had 
already thrown away the power of the State, and totally 
disregarded its interests and influence, out of personal 
favor to Mr. Bates,^ and personal favor founded on it 
is hardly known what. Besides which, when Mr. Choate 
came to be talked of, he being of the time of life and 
possessing the qualifications to enable him (if he chooses 

^ The editor of the Atlas, Feb. 16, 1841, after quoting from an 
editorial in the Boston Advertiser to the effect that Gushing was needed 
in the House, said: — " We are authorized to say that Mr. Gushing 
does not wish to be considered as a candidate to supply the vacancy. 
His great talents, extensive learning and valuable services are fully ap- 
preciated by his political friends." 

2 Isaac Ghapman Bates of Northampton had been elected U. S. 
Senator Jan. 13, 1841, to succeed John Davis of Worcester, who 
had resigned as Senator on being elected Governor of Massachusetts. 
Webster's resignation took effect Feb. 22, and Rufus Ghoate was 
elected to succeed him Feb. 24, 1841. 


to exert himself) to do credit and good service to the 
State, I was the more content to leave the question 
unembarrassed by any interests of my own. 

I have also positively declined any employment 
abroad, in order to work out faithfully my term of 
service in the 27th Congress, in which there is much 
to be done, and I think I may be of use to the coun- 
try, without impairing in any degree my pretensions 
to office, if I should then desire to obtain it. These 
determinations place me in a position of independence 
here, which has many advantages. 

And now, for the other topics of your letters, a few 
words : I do not believe there will be any general pro- 
scription. I do not believe that removals will be made 
without due consideration of the circumstances of each 
case. In regard to the Post Offices, I shall have to act 
in deference, for the most part, to the judgment of each 
community. I have as yet heard nothing from Ames- 
bury and shall not do anything of my own motion. 
There is much conflict of interests at Haverhill, and I 
cannot yet decide what to do ; but if it is impracticable 
to place Mr. T [hayer] there, I undertake to do my ut- 
most to provide for him in some way. 

I am, very faithfully, yours, 



Portland^ June 30, 1841. 
My Dear Brother: 

. . . The great temperance convention com- 
menced its session here to day and will probably con- 
tinue several days. I see among the arrivals last night 
and this morning Hawkins " the reformed drunkard," 
Rev. Mr. Colver and several others from Boston and 
New York. 

I wrote to sister Mary some time since, respecting 
the discussion on slavery which came off here a few 
weeks ago. 

Since then John Neal ' has published a long state- 
ment of the affair, occupying half the collums of the 
Daily Advertiser for nearly a week. He was pleased 
to term it a fair and impartial digest of the whole mat- 
ter, but in all his long array of words, when there was 
any fault at all ^ notwithstanding one or t^o pretended 
thrusts at the Georgian, his sympathies (i.e. if that is a 
propper term in speaking of John Neal) were " like the 
handle of a jug, all on one side." But his labors will 
do no harm, inasmuch as not one in ten can come to 
any conclusion in this, and most of his other produc- 
tions, as to what he " would be driving at." 

Nat Dearing ("Old Nat," as he is called here) once 

said in reply to an article of Neal's, published in the 

New World, entitled" Portland Writers" : — " Some of 

our best writers in saying many good things do oc- 

^ Appendix G, p. 276. 


casionally ^jy accident say foolish things. But with Mr. 
Neal this is reversed. He never talks or writes com- 
mon sense save by accident." And in the same con- 
nection, speaking of what John terms his "throwing 
off" style, he says John Neal is "afflicted with a literary 
diarrhosa'' In the production alluded to, his wander- 
ing, pointless style is very conspicuous. . . . 
Again good bye. 

M. F. Whittier. 


Washington, 17 July^ 1841. 
Dear Sir: 

I duly received yours of the 26th June in be- 
half of Mr. SewalL' I have also had correspondence 
with Mr. S. himself and with Mr. Fletcher^ on the 
subject. There is not a better man, or a better lawyer, 
than Mr. S. in Massachusetts. But the appointment 
has been long since destined to Mr. Peleg Sprague.^ 
I do not know how far Mr. SewalTs anti-slavery 
opinions would have stood in his way with the Presi- 
dent. They could not have prevented my testifying to 

' Sewall, Whittier's friend, was a candidate for U. S. Judge for the 
District of Massachusetts. 

" Like that ancestral judge who bore his name. 
Faithful to Freedom and to Truth, he gave. 
When all the air v*^as hot with wrath and blame. 
His youth and manhood to the fettered slave.** 

"Samuel E. Sewall,'* Poemsy 516. 

2 Richard Fletcher (i 788-1 869), Dartmouth, 1806; studied law 
with Webster; memberof Congress from Massachusetts, 1 837-1 839; 
Justice of the Mass. Supreme Court, 1848-18 5 3. He bequeathed 
;^ 1 00,000 to Dartmouth College. 

3 Peleg Sprague served as Judge of the District of Massachusetts, 
1 841 to 1865. He was the orator in Faneuil Hall to whom Whittier 
referred in his open letter to Governor Everett in the Liberator ^ Feb- 
ruary 20, 1836: ** I know that he [Washington] was a slave holder, 
and I have not forgotten the emotions which swelled my bosom when in 
the Metropolis of New England, the Cradle of Liberty, a degenerate 
son of the Pilgrims pointed to his portrait, which adorned the wall, 
with the thrice repeated exclamation, ' That slave holder * . . . Did 
not the speaker know that the dying testimony of Washington was 
against slavery ? ' ' 


his high character and attainments. But those opinions 
would have stopped him in the Senate, in which the 
singular fact now exists of Northern V. B.' men play- 
ing into the hands of Southern Adm. men, by minis- 
tering to their slavery tenor, as in regard to various 
nominees before them. I know not what may be the 
ultimate effect of the anti-slavery agitation on the in- 
terests of the North ; its present effect is most disas- 
trous to us in a multitude of ways. This much is too 
plain to be mistaken. 

I wrote to Gov. Lincoln at your request in behalf 
of Mr. Worthen; but, I fear, without much prospect 
of success. Mr. Choate and I are cooperating to obtain 
for Mr. Thayer a I900 office, in which I think we shall 
succeed. If (as I hope) we can be together in Essex after 
the close of the Session, I shall rejoice to cooperate in 
our Merrimac enterprise at that time. For the year past, 
I have no time for other thoughts than my public duties; 
but I anticipate a breathing space the coming autumn. 

I regretted the necessity of acceding to the removal 
of your friend Mr. Nayson. But the representations 
on the subject were too strong to be resisted. Add to 
which, I was not unwilling to have the opportunity of 
providing for an old friend of my youth, to whom for- 
tune had not been kind, Mr. Walsh's * father having 
fitted me for college, and John himself having taken 
care of me as a college friend, during my first year at 

I am very truly yours, 

C. Gushing. 
Mr. Whittier. 

^ Van Buren. 

* John Walsh, Harvard College, 18 14, died 1845. His father 
Michael was a teacher in the Marblehead Academy. 

[ 78 ] 

P. S. Party politics were never in a more uncertain 
state, and no man here knows for a surety, what his 
own position will be for three months ahead. In such 
circumstances, one must do what is right, disregardful 
of consequences. I do not see my way clearly to the 
end, but I have made up my mind to two things, 
whatever happens, and that is, in weakness to look to 
the interests of my constituents, and in men to stick to 
my private friends, in preference to precarious party 


Amesbury, \oth Aug. 1841. 

To THE Chairman of the Liberty Party 
Dear Brother: 

The uijdersigned, in common with many 
others in this section of the State, are desirous that 
a General Convention of the voting "" abolitionists of 
Massachusetts should be held at as early a day as may 
be practicable, at Worcester or some other central 
location, for the purpose of calling out a deeper and 
stronger feeling than now seems to exist in favor of 
Liberty at the Ballot-box. They would respectfully 
suggest the expediency of calling such a Convention, 
on the part of your Committee, with the understand- 
ing that the nominations now made by that Committee, 
be held subject to the decision and disposal of the 
Convention. Let us rally as one man to that meeting, 
from every section of the good old Commonwealth, 
and let measures be taken to secure the attendance 
of such men as Wl" Goodell, Joshua Leavitt, Alvan 
Stewart, Beriah Green and Henry B. Stanton,^ and 

^ Written by Whittier. 

2 As distinguished from those who refrained, because by voting they 
would recognize the Constitution. 

3 «« For many years an influence in behalf of the slave radiated from 
the central counties of New York, which was felt beyond the borders 
of the State. It was largely due to four men, quite unlike in salient 
characteristics, though each was remarkable in his sphere. They were 


may we not hope that in our own State, those who have 
not hitherto acted with us, — the Lorings, the Phillips, 
and Jacksons — will be ready to join us in lifting up 
the pure and democratic standard of Political Anti- 

Y' friend. 

acute reasoners, ready writers, and never quailed before work. Those 
who witnessed the majestic eloquence of Gerrit Smith, the quaint hu- 
mor and pathetic appeals of Alvan Stewart, the luminous logic and 
merciless sarcasm of Beriah Green, and the instructive disquisitions 
and pointed periods of William Goodell, will regard this as a just 
tribute to their abilities and services.'* 

Henry B. Stanton, Random Recollections, 65. 

Joshua Leavitt was editor of the Boston Emancipator, He had been 
with Stanton an associate of Whittier's in the office of the American 
Anti-Slavery Society in New York in 1837. 


^ ^ Washington, 4, SepL 1S4.1. 

Dear Sir: 

I have your two letters and will reply at length 
tomorrow. I was unable to do anything for Mr. Thayer' 
in the Haverhill P. O., there being a strong remon- 
strance against him and the appointment having been 
decided by the P. M. G. upon tht documents, in which 
I could but acquiesce. Meanwhile, I have a good hope 
of securing provision for him in an office, the disposal 
of which has been promised to me. But the infinite 
variety of such questions cannot be decided in a day, 
amidst the other all absorbing matters in agitation here. 
Today I have received a no. of the Northampton 
Courier, containing a threat from him. Can I procure 
him an office under a threat, judge you? He has so 
many times, in writing and in print professed to have 
buried the hatchet, that I have in good faith exerted 
myself in his behalf, and with every prospect of speedy 
success. What is it just and proper for me to do under 
the circumstances? As you have interested yourself 
in his behalf, pray advise me. It is his interest, not 
mine, which is at stake, for in the whirlwind which is 
coming, newspaper obloquy, founded on old personal 
grudges, will go for little among the other greater ele- 
ments of confusion and discord. I suppose there must be 
some letter of his which I have not answered, but it is 
physically impossible for me to answer, until the close 
of the session, one fourth part of the letters I receive. 

I am, very faithfully, yours, 

^ Thayer in 1832, when editor of the Haverhill Gazette, had 
opposed Gushing. 


Portland^ June I'jth 1842. 
Dear Brother; 

. . . My good friend, Doer. Illsly of the 
Portland Transcript, asked me some months ago, 
when I wrote, to request thee to do him the very great 
favor of sending him one or two articles for his paper. 
He would (I may as well tell thee) want to publish 
them in manner and form as follows — " Written for 
the Transcript by J. G. Whittier." The poor fellow 
is rather hard pushed just now, as a new rival paper 
under the patronage of D. C. Colesworthy, S. B. 
Beckett and John Neal, has been started for the ex- 
press purpose of running the Transcript down. They 
have got Cutter as a contributor and, I believe. In- 
graham. I told him thy time was, I supposed, pretty 
well taken up, — but if thee could spare the Doctor a 
small lift it would be rather a deed of charity. Any- 
thing would be gratefully received, prose or poetry. 
. . . Nathan has had one or two Anti-everything 
Meetings lately. At which the somewhat mystical 
tends of that respectable Society were duly set forth, 
illuminated by its Chief Priest, Henry C. Wright. 
They could get no house but the Casco St. Chapel, 
though they tried several others. Nathan was very 
busy running about to the various church commit- 
tees, and on being refused, not only shook off the 
dust of his shoes as a testimony against them, but in 
his usual bland manner remonstrated with the obsti- 


nate committees, and in a voice bearing a strong re- 
semblance to the noise made by a heavy iron door turn- 
ing very slowly on unoiled hinges, expressed as his firm 
conviction that the ministers yitrt^^ dumb dogs y Satan's 
high priests &c. &c.," finishing with an earnest en- 
treaty that they, in company with the aforesaid com- 
mittee, would with all possible dispatch "go straight- 
way to the D 1 'M . . . 

Affectionately Good bye 

M. F. Whittier. 


Boston^ Beer. i6, 1842. 

x/r TA „ No. 4., Court St, 

My Dear Friend : 

Some weeks ago I wrote to ask you for a poem 
to print in my new magazine.' I have had no answer 
from you, nor heard from you except through the 
Democratic Review and Mr. Allen of Worcester. 

I hope you will be able to give me something. At 
any rate, send me word in some way that I may know 
in time for my second number. I like your poem 
"Raphael"^ very much indeed, perhaps better in 
some ways than any poem of yours. I do not mean 
that it is better in its kind — but that its kind is 

^ The Pioneer y a monthly magazine, edited by J. R. Lowell and 
R. Carter. But three issues appeared, Jan., Feb., and March, 1843. 
Among the contributors were Hawthorne, Elizabeth Barrett (Brown- 
ing), Poe, Jones Very and W. W. Story. Whittier contributed to 
the February number, "Lmes Written in the Book of a Friend," 
Poems y 388 : — 

" On page of thine I can not trace 
The cold and heartless commonplace " — 

not «' To a Friend on her Return from Europe," as stated in Pickard, 
Whittier, 289, where is given Lowell's letter of October, mentioned 
above, in which he outlined his plans for this venture, which was so 

* " Raphael," Poems, 389, had just appeared in the United States 
Magazine and Democratic Review for December. " Follen," Poems, 
175, was in the March number and "The Gallows," Poems, 352, 
in that for October. These three were the only poems by Whittier 
published in 1842. 


pleasanter to me. But I like the others better after all, 
for the noble causes they have always espoused. 
Whatever you do, God be with you ! 

Your friend in truth, 

J. R. Lowell. 

P. S. I don't care if the poem be anti-slavery, it 
will be as welcome — though the main scope of my 
magazine at present is literary. 


Boston Feby, 3, 1844. 
Dear Whittier : 

I am glad, upon the whole, that the contest in 
No. 5 is Ended. Sorry to hear the Essex Transcript 
(you ?) talk about giving from 1500 to 2000 votes in 
No 5 next fall. Why, you can and must give 2500, 
without fail. If we take hold of the work with the 
energy of the New Yorkers, we can and shall do this. 
But, about our State Convention ; we are relying 
on you to draft the resolutions. No failure, John ! 
Let them be candid but strong. We must be impar- 
tial, too, as between the parties. To the masses, our 
resolves and newspaper articles, look rather Anti- 

^ F. H. Underwood, who seems to have obtained from Whittier 
himself many facts for his Sketch of Whittier y says that during the four 
or five years after the removal to Amesbury, Stanton was Whittier' s 
most intimate friend and colaborer, and that they were *' great lobby 
workers" at the State House. He quotes a phrase from a letter of 
Wendell Phillips that Whittier was "a great hand at it." 

It was to Stanton that Whittier dedicated his poems, printed in 
1838, *' as a token of the author's personal friendship and of his re- 
spect for the unswerved devotion of exalted talents to the cause of 
humanity and freedom." 

Stanton left this pleasing account of Whittier : "In the dozen years 
following 1835 I spent many months in his company, and travelled 
with him hundreds of miles in eight or ten states. Only those who know 
my shy friend well, are aware how talkative, genial, witty and humor- 
ous, sarcastic and entertaining he is in bright hours with two or three 
companions." Stanton, Random Recollections. 


Make a tremendous noise in the next Transcript' 
about the State Convention. Call more special atten- 
tion to it. Why, I do not believe half the readers of 
your paper could now tell the time when the conven- 
tion is to meet, to save themselves. We are confi- 
dently expecting that [Alvan] Stewart or [Gerrit] 
Smith, or both, will be with us. Our day meetings 
will be held in the Tremont Temple and our evening 
meetings in Faneuil Hall, and the State House. We 
shall have choice singing, and a splendid tea-party. 
Then huzzah for the Convention ! We need a large 
meeting just now. We must strike out plans for mov- 
ing the State to its very mud sills this year. We must 
have employed by our State Committee, one excel- 
lent, able agent, to plan, lecture, get up conventions, 
and set the Commonwealth on fire. And, to arrange 
all these matters, we must have a great Convention, 
and talk these things into the gizzards of our leading 
men. Then blow the trumpet long and loud in the 
next Transcript. 

Remember me most kindly to your mother and 
sister and believe me 

Yours ever and ever, 

H. B. Stanton. 

N. B. I have to lecture before the Beverly Lyceum 
the evening before the Convention, and before the 
Newburyport Lyceum the evening after. 

I <«Whittier persuaded the proprietor of the Amesbury Village 
Transcript to change its name to the Essex Transcript^ and to make 
it the county organ of the Liberty party. For about two years he vir- 
tually edited the Transcript ^ writing most of the original matter it con- 
tained, although his name does not appear in it, and his service was 
entirely gratuitous." Pickard, Whit tier, 303. 


Portland^ Feb, I'^th^ 1844. 
My Dear Brother: 

... I send thee by same mail as this, the last 
number of" Martin Chuzzlewit." It is, I think, the 
best one which has yet appeared. " The Native Amer- 
ican raw materiar' and the "American Eagle" are 
very happily treated. I always liked Dickens' works, 
but since he has had the boldness to attack our foolish 
vanity, maugre the stuffing and feasting they gave him, 
he has risen much in my estimation. When I have 
heard the boastful language of our sixpenny newspa- 
pers, and seen the absurd worship bestowed upon the 
memory of Washington, I have always felt that sensi- 
ble foreigners must be disgusted with us. We are per- 
haps passable, and Washington may have done as well 
as another placed in his situation would, but that is 
the end of the matter. He was not a God and we are 
not angels. 

Week before last C. C. Burleigh ' lectured before 
the Portland Anti-Slavery Society twice, in the after- 
noon and evening. In the afternoon his audience was 
limited, being made up of Oliver Dennett, Peter Mor- 
rill, their wives, a slight sprinkling of Appletons, 

^ '* Charles C. Burleigh was a vehement orator of rare logical gifts. 
He traversed the county, delivering Anti-slavery lectures. He dressed 
like a tramp. In the Anti-slavery office in New York we once tore a 
shabby coat off his shoulders, vowing that he should not represent the 
society in such a vile garb. John G. Whitder took a hand in this per- 
formance.'* Stanton, Random Recollections y 71. 


Nathan, myself and some 6 or 8 unsoaped boys. And 
very dim and shadowy we looked scattered over the 
vast hall in the Exchange. Bolt-upright near the centre 
towered the huge form of Oliver ; at his left sat Peter, 
his mottled face looking more mottled still in the 
variegated light from the dome, and their two good 
looking wives, in sad coloured hoods, pursing up their 
mouths in a manner beautiful to behold, — Nathan 
and I somewhat uneasy, but wearing our hats for a 
testimony. The boys filled the back ground, while 
through the half opened door "a nigger's" head 
peered awfully, big and large. It was an impressive 

And the speaker, I had never seen him before, and 
my first impressions were not very favorable. His hair 
was long and yellow and hung in festoons over his 
shoulders, his whiskers were red and tied under his 
chin, he wore no cravat, his throat was scragley, his coat 
and cap were in a shocking state, his eyes were wild, 
his shirt bosom and wristbands greasy, and altogether 
he looked like a cross between an Arkansas desperado 
and a decayed loafer of our Eastern cities.* But he 

^ Mrs. Claflin, Reminiscences, 45, says that Whittier, who was a 
friend of all the men named, used to take great delight in telling this 
story : — 

** In the stormy days when every Abolitionist was a marked man, 
an important meeting was held in New York. Among the speakers 
on the platform sat Garrison, with his shining bald head, and C. C. 
Burleigh, whose ample locks fell down his shoulders in true poetic 
fashion, while above them all towered the massive head of Fred 
Douglas, the colored orator. As usual the proceedings were greatly 
disturbed by the rioters ; but in a temporary lull which chanced to 
occur, a high-pitched voice was heard crying, ' Mr. Chairman, one 
word, Mr. Chairman. I have a proposition to make that will restore 
order.* 'What is your proposition,' quickly replied the chairman. 


spoke well, and what he lacked in appearance was in 
some sort made up in his language. In the evening 
the attendance was larger. . . . 

Affectionately thy Brother, 

M. F. Whittier. 

* Let us have it.* 'Let that nigger there shave Burleigh and make 
a wig for Garrison and all differences will be settled. ' 

<* Strange to say, when the audience recovered from bursts of laughter, 
order was restored and the speakers proceeded without interruption.** 


Boston^ July 20/44. 
Dear Whittier : 

I have heard from Gerrit Smith. He deeply 

regrets that his business arrangements and obligations 

are such, that he cannot be with us, at Salem,' on the 

^ Whittier was deeply interested in the success of the Salem con- 
vention Aug. I, 1844. It was for this occasion that he wrote Lowell, 
14th 7th Mo. 1844, asking the fulfilment of the promise of a Liberty 
song. ** Give me one which shall be to our cause what the song of 
Rouget de Lisle was to the French Republicans. Such an one as the 
maiden may whisper in the 

* asphodel flower fleece 
She walks ankle deep in,* 

and the strong man sing at his forge and plough. Think of it, dear L. , 
and oblige me, and do a great work for holy liberty, by complying 
with my request." Greenslet, Lozvell, 64. 

Of the meeting itself, all that the Salem Gazette of Aug. 2, 1 844, 
said was : " The meeting in this city yesterday, purporting to be a 
commemoration of British West India Emancipation, was in reality an 
anti-Clay caucus. The unfavorable state of the weather in the morn- 
ing occasioned the transfer of the repast from the open air and where 
it was intended to be held, to the old town hall. ' ' 

Whittier' s movements were a subject of comment in the other Salem 
paper, the Register , July 25, 1844 : 

** Middlesex Standard. —A new Liberty party paper under this 
title has just been started in Lowell. It is to be edited by John G. 
Whittier, the gentleman who wrote that eloquent, truthful and beauti- 
ful poetical eulogium of Henry Clay, concluding as follows : — 

' All Hail ! The hour is hastening on. 
When vainly tried by Slander's flame, 
Columbia shall behold her son 


First. S. P. Chase of Cincinnati, has just left here for 
home. I tried to induce him to stay till the First, but 
the sickness of a child, whom he left at C. called him 
home immediately. I have just written a long letter to 
Senator Morris, inviting him, in the name of the State 
Committee to visit Massachusetts and spend some 
time with us. So, also, to Birney, directed to care of 
Chaplin. Tho I have no doubt both our leader-chiefs 
will respond to our call, yet neither of them will be 
with us on the First. So, you, Andrews, Burritt and 
Elder, will have to do the chief speaking. Ton will 
also be expected to sing a song with one of the Miss 
Birds ! Let us have a rousing time. 

Now, Whittier, for your best advice on a certain 
topic. I am going to decide by next fall, whether I 
leave Massachusetts. Nothing will force me out but 
my health. I am decidedly better than I was last sum- 
mer and winter, and my hopes of overcoming all dif- 
ficulties by care, are strengthening. Yet, my rather 
severe illness on the Fourth produced some slight 
effect on my lungs — sufficiently to convince me that 
I must be careful. If I remain in old Massachusetts, I 
shall not live in Boston ; tho it will be my chief place 
of business. Well, by living out of the city, I wish 
to select such a place of residence as will combine as 

Unharmed without a laurel gone. 

As from the flames of Babylon. 

The angel guarded trial came; 

The slanderer shall be silent then. 

His spell shall leave the minds of men. 

And higher glory wait upon 

The Western patriot* s future fame.* 

" The truthful breathings of his pure, youthful fancy will soon be- 
come historical facts.'* 

I 93 ] 

many advantages as possible : such as, pleasure, good 
society, health, and increase of business. I have my 
eye on three places, Salem, Lowell and Dedham. If 
I resided at either of those places, I should expect to 
come in to Boston every morning and go out every 
evening, as a general rule, Boston being my chief 
business place. But, each of those places is a law- 
center for its County ; and, if I should reside at either, 
I should there have an office in connexion (probably 
not in partnership) with some lawyer, and should pur- 
pose, as a general rule, to be there every evening and 
occasionally part of an afternoon to be consulted and 
do business ; still making Boston my main business 
stand. . . . 

Well, Whittier, if I have not given you a long 
rigmarole ! When I sat down, I intended to write 
only about the speakers at our Salem Meeting. My 
letter looked so short, I thought I would add a word 
about my residence ; and here I have spun out a whole 
sheet. Now, dear J. G. think the matter over and 
write me your mind seriously about it. It will oblige 
me much. 

Yours ever and ever, 

H. B. Stanton. 


Brook Farniy July 3, 1845. 
Friend Whittier : 

I received your letter to-day, but the book 
has not reached me. If it is left at Redding & Go's., 
8 State St., I shall get it. I am glad that you like the 
Harbinger.' The testimony of a person Uke yourself 
not pledged to its special doctrines, is an evidence that 
we are not wrong in the manner of setting forth our 

Animated by ideas which, whatever may be thought 
of their scientific correctness, are universal in their 
character, we should plainly be inconsistent with our- 
selves, did we allow ourselves to assume an attitude 
of hostility to any party or interest. We believe that 
we are the disciples of a philosophy which, while it 
opens the means of satisfying the irrepressible aspira- 
tions of the heart of Man, reconciles all partial truths 
in its own universality, and puts an end, or rather 
when once understood and applied, will put an end to 
all scepticism, as well as to all sectarian controversies. 
With this belief tolerance is almost a necessity, though 
on the other hand criticism of what is positively wrong, 
assumes a more decided though gentle tone. Will it be 
too much to ask of you an occasional contribution to 
our pages whether of prose or verse? You will see in 

^ Dana joined Brook Farm in 1 842. The first number of the Har-^ 
binger, which was the organ of that institution, was issued June 1 4, 

{.95 ] 

this week's paper a little piece ' of your's which, I fear 
by the way, the paper from which we copied it, did 
not print correctly. 

Our poetical department is not an easy one to fill. 
The New Spirit has hardly yet made its way among the 
gentler muses, though when the Poet has once com- 
prehended the Destiny of Man, such strains will burst 
from his lips as the world has never yet echoed with. 
Most faithfully yours, 

Charles A. Dana. 

^ ** When Freedom, on her natal day. 
Within her war-rocked cradle lay. 
An iron race around her stood. 
Baptized her infant brow in blood; 
And, through the storm which round her swept. 
Their constant ward and watching kept." 

*«The Moral Warfare," Poems y 275. 

Dana's fears as to the correctness of the printing were groundless. 


Boston^ Jan, ^th 1847. ['4^] 
Dear Mr. Whittier : 

I cannot let you off without thanks for your 
most kind and flattering testimony for the little that 
I have been able to do. I value your word very much 
and esteem your notice a sprig of true laurel. 

I wish that I could see hope for the country, but 
1 cannot. The war and slavery will continue to tear 
our vitals. Thank God ! at last we have a voice in the 
Senate. Hale has ^ opened well. His short speeches 
have been proper premonitions of what is to come. 
Every word from him will resound through the coun- 
try. I hope you will encourage him to make thorough 
work in the Senate. I wish to see him discuss the 
war in its relations to slavery. Then I hope he will 
find occasion to open the whole subject of slavery 
constitutionally, morally, politically, economically. I 
wish to see Theodore Parker's Letter ^ spoken in the 
Senate. That will diffuse it everywhere. 

I hope to see you when you are in Boston. 
Sincerely Yrs. 

Charles Sumner. 

^ John P. Hale of New Hampshire entered the U. S. Senate Dec. 
6, 1847. 

* "Letter to the People of the United States Touching the Motto 
of Slavery," by Theodore Parker, dated Dec. 22, 1847, but issued 
early in 1848. Chadwick, Parker, Preacher and Reformer ^ 239. 


Amesbury, 23^ 6th Mo. 1848. 
My dear Friend : 

It is not in my power to be with you to-mor- 
row, although it is my wish to do so. In regard to thy 
query touching the Liberty men taking a part in the 
organization of the Convention/ I cannot speak with 
authority, but will simply give my opinion. 

The case as I understand it is just this. The Lib- 
erty Party at first small and proscribed has fought a 
hard battle for seven years, and has grown to be at 

^ This convention at Worcester, June 28, was called for action 
by the ** Conscience " Whigs after Gen. Taylor, a slave holder, had 
been nominated for the Presidency at Philadelphia, June 7. Sumner 
was active in the preparations for the Worcester gathering, which was 
so largely attended that no hall could hold the crowds. It was a time 
of the breaking of old party lines, and others besides Whittier were 
concerned what course to follow. 

June 20, three days before the above was written, Whittier wrote 
another to Sumner, discussing the prospects and urging that the *' Con- 
science " Whigs act courageously and manfully. This letter (^Letter 
Books of Charles Sumner, Harvard College Library) shows how 
much Whittier was stirred by the prospect : — ** Call out the grim 
fanaticism of the Puritan. Dare, dare, DARE, as Dan ton told the 
French ; that is the secret of successful revolt. Oh for a man ! There 
is the difficulty after all. Who is to head the movement? . . . Look 
just now at Webster and Tom Corwin ! Flat on their faces, like East- 
ern slaves, before Taylor and Slavery. In what noble contrast stand 
Hale and Van Buren the younger. You must have a new and bold 
man, one to whom old notions and practices on the question of slav- 
ery are like threads of tow, breaking with the first movement of his 
limbs. ..." 


least 80,000 strong. Pressed upon all sides, it has a 
compact form and organization and is strong in the 
indomitable will of its members, who have been tried 
as by fire. The men ask nothing but the privilege of 
fighting the battle of freedom on the ground they 
have heretofore maintained. They believe their posi- 
tion the right one, and standing there they are ready 
and anxious to cooperate with Conscience Whigs and 
Independent Democrats, — nay more, they are wilhng 
that the latter shall be leaders and standard-bearers, 
while they fall into the ranks of the common soldiers 
of freedom. (I see by the by that my figures are getting 
somewhat military.) 

To show our feeling in this district, our Conven- 
tion last fall nominated J. P. Hale, an Independent 
Democrat, as our candidate for the Presidency. For 
this some of our other friends greatly censured us, and 
have withdrawn from our organization. We nomi- 
nated Hale, not only because he was eminently worthy 
of it, but because we wished thereby to show to anti- 
slavery Whigs and Democrats that we were willing 
to meet them in a fraternal spirit and not as mere 
partizans. Against his inclinations Hale consented to 
be a candidate. Under these circumstances, the Lib- 
erty men must be passive and let events shape them- 
selves, in the hope that at the coming election they 
may be able to cooperate fraternally with all who are 
hostile to slavery. We cannot, as honest men, aban- 
don Hale, who has stood up so nobly for our princi- 
ples, so long as he remains in his present relation to 
us. Should he decHne, in view of a general movement 
of all anti-slavery men, the case would be different. 

But even then, for one I cannot consent after a life 


long struggle in this cause, to be instrumental in lower- 
ing down the standard of the Liberty party. I don't 
ask that the candidate shall be a member of that party, 
but I do insist that he shall be a decided and resolute 
anti-slavery man. In this matter the Liberty men have 
but one voice. I do not believe it is in the power of 
myself or Dr. Bailey or Stanton or Chase, Lewis, Tap- 
pan, Fessenden, etc., even could we be induced our- 
selves to undertake it, to carry the Liberty party in 
favor of any other than a thorough, hearty abolitionist. 
They would cast us off, and move onward. 

As to Hale himself, he has no wish to stand as a 
candidate, unless by so doing he can promote the 
cause. He is no partizan — he has no other ties, than 
that of sympathy in a common object, to bind him to 
the Liberty men. Dr. Bailey has, I know, a good deal 
of faith in Judge McLean. He is a worthy respect- 
able man, but he has never been known as abolition- 
ist. Some of his decisions too are bad on this very 
subject. His range of vision is narrow. He is the slave 
of yesterday, — the victim of precedents. He is not 
even "available." There are ten hearts in the country 
that leap faster at the name of Hale, or John Van 
Buren, or J. R. Fielding, to one that does so at that 
of McLean. The time for old, worn petitioners has 
gone by. The party of the people must have a man 
fresh and strong from the people themselves. 

Not knowing therefore what is contemplated by 
you, in respect to a nomination, it would hardly be 
best for Liberty men to take responsible stations in the 
organization of the Convention. At least, such is my 
feeling. If I cannot wholly go with you, I wish to 
encourage you onward in what you regard as duty, 

[ loo ] 

unembarassed by my own scruples and difficulties. In 
heart and soul I am with you in every honest word 
and work for freedom. I rejoice to hear of Judge 
Allen's reception. A prominent Democrat here tells 
me he shall go with the party of freedom. The Whigs 
will have the very flower of their party. God bless 
you, and guide you. 

John G. Whittier. 

Excuse the haste of this letter. I have no time to see 
what I have written. 



Boston, July nth, '48. 
My dear Whittier : 

It is hard for me to stay away, when you 

bid me come ; but positive engagements occupy all 

my time. I must decline for the present the invitation 

you send me." 

I cannot hope to do service in the way you propose 
till after the Buffalo Convention. My duties for the 
present occupy every moment. I need not dwell upon 
them ; but you may be assured that I should not de- 
cline yr summons unless I felt constrained so to do. 

Things tend to Van Buren as our candidate. I am 
willing to take him. With him we can break the slave- 
power. That is our first aim. We can have a direct 
issue on the subject of slavery. We hope that McLean 
will be Vice-President, Van B. and McL. ! That is a 
strong Free Soil ticket. It will go like an elephant 
among the cane-brakes. Truly success seems to be 
within our reach. I never supposed that I should 
belong to a successful party. 
In haste. 

Ever yrs. 

Charles Sumner. 

^ In Appendix H, p. 278. 


Seneca Falls, July 31, 1848. 
Dear Whittier : 

If you go to Buffalo' (as I hope you will) I 
fear this hasty note, in reply to yours, will not reach 
you ere you start. I am just off to attend a Free Soil 
meeting at Penn Yan, to-morrow, and have not time 
to go at length into the points suggested in your let- 
ter. To come to a point, if not the point, I suppose 
if you were satisfied your vote would elect Van Buren 
over both Cass and Taylor, you would not, standing 
as he now does, give it to him. Well, / would. 

You say this is taking the very ground repudiated 
by me in 1844 in the case of Clay. My answer is : 

^ Whittier had planned to attend, but his health prevented. Stan- 
ton (^Recollections t 162) tells the character of the convention: — 

** The nomination of General Cass for the Presidency by the 
Democrats and General Taylor by the Whigs led to the Buffalo Con- 
vention of 1848. The Barnburners had opposed Cass in vain at the 
Baltimore Convention. They had made the Monumental City lurid 
with their wrath, frightening the delegates from the back States almost 
out of their wits. 

"At Buifalo I was one of the committee that drafted its Free Soil 
platform. It was a motley assembly. Pro-Slavery Democrats were 
there to avenge the wrongs of Martin Van Buren. Free Soil Demo- 
crats were there to punish the assassins of Silas Wright. Pro-Slavery 
Whigs were there to strike down General Taylor because he had 
dethroned their idol, Henry Clay, in the Philadelphia Convention. 
Anti-Slavery Whigs were there breathing the spirit of the departed 
John Quincy Adams. Abolitionists of all shades of opinion were pre- 
sent, from the darkest type to those of a milder hue, who shared the 
views of Salmon P. Chase." 

C 103 ] 

1. Suppose it is. This does not prove it to be wrong. 

2. But it is not. 'Then the question was territorial ex- 
tension ; now it is slavery extension. Then the candi- 
date was a slaveholder ; now he is not. Then we were 
not sure he was right, but believed him to be wrong, 
on the very question at issue ; now we know him to 
be right. Then we were asked to unite with one of 
the great pro-slavery parties of the country, in the 
support of its candidates ; now we are asked to unite 
with men of all parties, who have abandoned their 
parties on the ground of their subserviency to slavery 
and are rallying on independent ground to meet a 
precise issue which the slave power tenders. 

There are other differences, but these will suffice. 
The simple question is, whether Liberty men will, at 
this crisis, vote for a candidate for President, who is 
not with them on all points. Twist it as we will, that 
is it. For one, I say / will. Suppose we had power to 
elect all the officers to govern the new territories ; 
and one set / knew would keep slavery out ; and there 
were two other sets that would let it in. Would I 
refuse to vote for the former because they did not 
think Congress ought to abolish slavery in the Dist. 
of Columbia ? I certainly would not. You see the 

In a word, so imminent do I esteem the present 
crisis, believing that we are at this election settling the 
destiny of all Mexico, and indeed the question of 
peaceful abolition, or bloody revolution, I shall go for 
the nominee of the Buffalo Convention, I presume. 

By so doing, I do not give up any principle I ever 
held ; and do not feel in any danger of being lost 
hereafter. Indeed, by supporting Hale, I go for a man 

C ^04 ] 

who does not go so far as I do as to the power of Con- 
gress. I differ with him. The truth is, we Liberty men 
have got some isms that are too refined for use. They 
are Hke the Whig Anti-Slavery resolutions; better 
adapted for show than use. 

Lewis Tappan puts forth an address, counselling us 
to stand firm, etc. He and his co-signers live in a city 
of half a million of people. They give half a hundred 
votes. Such men are not practical, except on paper. 

I don't like the Emancipator folks. They pass 
resolutions against go [ing] to Buffalo as delegates, in 
State Committee, and then all hands turn out, attend 
Free Soil meetings called to appoint delegates, make 
speeches, and get appointed delegates themselves. I 
don't see the joke. 

Don't infer from all this that V. Buren is my man. 
I shall oppose him at B. But I shall go — Have writ- 
ten this in 3 minutes. Hope to see you at B. Call 

Haste. Thine ever, 

H. B. Stanton. 

Hale proposes to make you, Tuck, Lewis, Leavitt 
and me a Committee to decide upon his duty as to 
withdrawing — to consult at Buffalo, From this, I take 
it for granted you will be there. I start from home 
Monday morning. Don t fail to be there. 


Newhuryporty Aug, 3, 1848. 
Dear Friend : 

I spoke somewhat hurriedly in answer to yr 
invitation to me (at the Convention) to come to Ames- 
bury: let me say therefore a word to explain. 

My position is rather a difficult one just now, for 
my good friends here, though ready to allow me any 

^ Colonel Higginson in his Cheerful Tester days ( 1 00- 131) writes 
of the ** Rearing of a Reformer" and describes his «* rather diffi- 
cult position." At the date of this letter he had nearly completed 
the first of his two years of service as minister of the First Religious 
Society of Newburyport. He was soon to be nominated for Congress 
by the new Free Soil party, a result, he says, of the work of Whittier, 
who saw that he himself might have to accept the nomination, and so 
drafted the ardent young preacher from Newburyport as a substitute. 
Higginson accepted and ** stumped" the district, but was defeated, as 
was anticipated. 

The nature and extent of the " prejudices among his good friends " 
Colonel Higginson indicates in his description of the retired sea cap- 
tains in his parish, most of whom had had experience in Southern ports 
with slavery, and wanted that subject kept out of the pulpit. Among 
these captains was Francis Todd, whose judgment against Garrison for 
^50 and costs for libel, was the cause of Garrison's imprisonment in 
the Baltimore jail for seven weeks in 1830. Garrison in the Genius of 
Universal Emancipation had commented in characteristic manner on 
Todd's vessel having transported a cargo of slaves from Baltimore to 
New Orleans. {^Garrison, i, 167.) 

The Oration at the Proceedings of the 150th Anniversary of this 
Church in 1875 deals with this period and its events. 

[ io6 ] 

amount of liberty in the pulpit, have yet prejudices 
which make it a hard trial to them to have their min- 
ister take the stump at a Presidential election, par- 
ticularly on what they think a very wrong side. Now 
you will agree with me that just at this time, I need all 
the influence I have here especially and am bound not 
to tamper with it. At the same time I see it a clear 
duty to go just as far as I wisely can in helping on the 
several agitations. 

Now I candidly think and so would you, if you 
knew all the circumstances, that my Lowell movement 
was going quite far enough just now. It will try my 
friends here severely. I felt a clear call to do it and 
shall in any case rejoice I did. I may feel an equally 
clear call to address every town in the District and in 
that case shall do ity but I dont expect to. At any rate 
I must wait and see the effect of this blow here, before 
I strike another. My next may be an address here, 
for aught I know. I have thought of it, and if I do, 
the effect of it would be decidedly better for my begin- 
ning at home. In any case I feel that this is the most 
important soil, and I am constantly considering the 
influence to be excited here. 

Another thing is the uncertain result of the Buffalo 
Convention. Unless we can have union I shall not 
want to come forward, and certainly do not wish to, 
before we know how we are to stand. 

In case the B. C. should nominate some one who 
can unite us, this plan has occurred to me, to have 
another District Convention, either at Haverhill or 
actually here^ and bring out all our strength. I will 
pledge myself for that unhesitatingly, and I should an- 
ticipate marked results from it even here. 

C 107 ] 

You will see that I am a somewhat cautious person, 
but I am not afraid of your distrusting me, or misun- 
derstanding. __ - .- 
Yours heartily, 


This does n't demand any answer. 


^ „^ Dover^ N. H, Jup;. 22/48. 

Dear W hittier : 

On my return to Wells Beach, Me., Miss 
Minot and Chamberlain accompanied me to this place. 
I saw Leavitt in Boston, who is mesmerised into a 
full blooded Van Buren man. He fully expects that 
the magician will write a perfectly satisfactory letter. 
I told him, I hoped so, but should wait to see it be- 
fore forsaking Hale and throwing up my cap for 

We had a long interview with Mr. Hale last even- 
ing. It is evident that he feels keenly that he has not 
been well [treated] and Stanton has, I greatly fear, be- 
trayed him and the cause. After writing to me that 
he sh*^ go to Buffalo to advocate the nomination of 
Hale, he did all he could there, from the first, to en- 
sure the nomination of Van Buren. While Leavitt 
and Lewis and Jackson voted for Hale at the first 

^ Of his friend Lewis Tappan Whittier (Prose Works, ii, 278) re- 
cords : "At the very outset, in company with his brother Arthur, 
he devoted his time, talents and wealth, and social position to the 
righteous but unpopular cause of Emancipation, and became, in con- 
sequence, a mark for the persecution which followed such devotion. 
His business was crippled, his name cast out as evil, his dwelling 
sacked and his furniture cast into the street and burned. Yet he never, 
in the darkest hour, faltered or hesitated for a moment. He knew he 
was right, and that the end would justify him ; one of the cheerfullest 
of men, he was strong where others were weak, hopeful where others 

[ I09 ] 

balloting, Stanton voted for Van and electioneered for 
him with all his might. 

Mr. Hale did not withdraw ! He wrote a letter to 
Giddings (which G. lost on the way) stating that in 
the peculiar and responsible circumstances in which 
he was placed, he needed advice, and desired that the 
friends who attended the Convention, would inform 
him of what was done and advise him as to the course 
he had best pursue. Hale also wrote to Stanton giving 
him the substance of his letter to Giddings. On the 
envelope of the letter to G., Mr. Hale wrote 5 names 
— as the friends whose advice he peeded — Leavitt, 
Fogg, Whittier, Stanton and Lewis. On the strength 
of such a letter Mr. Hale*s name was withdrawn and 
the Liberty men urged to go for Van Buren ! 

Leavitt wanted, yesterday, to have Hale's name 
taken down on the "Emancipator," and Van Buren's 
hoisted. He seemed to insist upon it, but it was re- 
fused. Hale's name will continue to float at mast head, 
until Mr. Van Buren's letter is received and approved 
by Mr. Hale and his friends, his true friends. 

If Van Buren adopts the Buffalo Platform, I sup- 
pose we must all go for him. If he does not, should 
we not let the Lib. party know all the facts, and rally 
for Hale and Liberty ! 

I expect to be at Wells Beach all this week. My 
address is Wells Beach, N. Berwick, Me. After this 
week my address for a few days will be care Geo. 
W? Gordon, Boston, and after that at New York as 

I was 28 minutes in going from your house to the 
Depot (poor horse !) and arrived in Boston in good 
time. It would have given me peculiar pleasure to 


have remained longer with you, and to have talked 
over private as well as public affairs. I want to do 
something to promote your health and that of your 
dear sister. But the train is coming. 

Ever and truly yours, 

L. Tappan. 


Boston^ Dec. 6th '48 
My dear Whittier : 

Yr poem ' in the last Era has touched my 
heart. Are you well ? I fear that you are not. May 
God preserve you in strength and courage, for all 
good works. 

1 have yr new volume.* It is a precious collection ; 
but where are the Poems of Labor ?^ I rejoice that 
this volume is pubhshed. We will let our Poet uproot 
the slave-trade. There they cannot withstand. How 
much more powerful is a song than a bullet! The 
literature of the world is turning against slavery. We 
shall have it soon in a state of moral blockade. Then 
it must fall. We will treat it like a besieged city — 
cut off from all supplies. 

* ** I ask not now for gold to gild 

With mocking shine a weary frame ; 
The yearning of the mind is stilled, 
I ask not now for fame.*' 

" The Wish of To-day," Poems, 431. 

2 P<7(f;wjby John G. Whittier. Illustrated by H. Billings. Boston: 
Benjamin B. Mussey & Company, 1849, pp. 384. This, the first 
general collection of Whittier' s poems, was undertaken in part through 
friendship and appreciation of Whittier' s anti-slavery work with which 
Mussey sympathized. The volume was handsomely printed, and was 
successful financially, three editions having been printed. 

3 < * The Songs of Labor, ' ' which had appeared in the Democratic Re- 
view 1 845-1 847, were not gathered in a volume until 1 850, when with 
other poems they were published by Ticknor, Reed & Fields, pp. 127. 


I admire Bailey' as an editor very much. His arti- 
cles show infinite sagacity and tact. That in the last 
number on the old Democratic party is perfect. 

Do you see the efforts to wriggle away from the 
Wilmot Proviso? I fear that the "artful dodgers" 
will yet prevail. 

But I took my pen, merely to ask after your health. 
There are few to whom I would allot a larger measure 
of this world's blessings, than to yourself — had I any 
control ; for there are few who deserve them more. I 
trust to hear that you are strong in body, happy in 
heart. Adieu. Ever sincerely yours, 

Charles Sumner. 

' Editor of the National Era, of which Whittier was correspond- 
ing editor. 


Amesbury, ^th lotb Month 1850 

'To the Editors of the Bay State. 

I have just learned that my name has been 
placed on the ticket for State Senators by the Demo- 
cratic County Convention, held at Salem on the 1^ 
Ins\ I am grateful for this mark of confidence on 
the part of that Convention, but must nevertheless 
decline the nomination. I doubtless sympathise to a 
great extent with the Convention in respect to the 
desirableness of State Reform, but this consideration 
alone is, to my mind as dust in the balance compared 
to the Senatorial election by our next Legislature, To 
effect the election of a decided and active Friend of 
Human Freedom to the National Councils for the next 
six years, I would make any exertion or sacrifice con- 
sistent with the principles which I cherish and have 
long publickly maintained. 

While I havesufBcient personal and private reasons 
for declining any nomination for political office, there 
is one of a different character, which I may be justified 
in alluding to. Since the passage of the Fugitive Slave 
Law by Congress, I find myself in a position with re- 
spect to it, which I fear my fellow citizens generally 
are not prepared to justify. So far as that law is con- 
cerned, I am a nullifier. By no act or countenance or 
consent of mine shall that law be enforced in Massa- 


chusetts. My door is still open to the oppressed, 
whether fleeing from Austria ' or South Carolina. 
Thy friend John G. Whittier 

Endorsement by Whittier. Copy of letter to the 

Ed. "Bay State/' Lynn, Mass. 

' Kossuth was at this time in America. Poems, 189. 


Boston, Bee, 3^ '50 
My dear Whittier: 

Some days ago I sent you, through Fields, my 
two vols.' and I am now tempted to write, partly to 
excuse myself for thus venturing. My idealis so much 
above any thing aetual in my poor life, that I have 
little satisfaction in any thing I am able to do. And 
I value these things, which are now published, simply 
as my earnest testimony to truths, which I have most 
sincerely at heart. They have all been done, because 
I could not help it — almost unconsciously, I may say. 
One of the thoughts, which reconcile me to my auda- 
city, is that possibly these volumes may tempt young 
men, particularly at colleges, to our fields of action. 
But I have little confidence even in this aspiration. 

I have longed to see you of late ; for there are sev- 
eral matters that I should be glad to confer with you 
about. The late elections have given us great advan- 
tages. I hope they will be exercised wisely, discreetly, 
justly and without any petty proscription. But in order 
to make our position tolerable, it seems to me that 
Boutwell,* if he receives our vote, must in his message 
put himself substantially upon our platform. I believe 

* Sumner* s Orations and Speeches had just been printed in two 
volumes by Ticknor & Fields. 

* BoutwelPs inaugural message, Jan. 1 85 1 , was not definite and de- 
cided against slavery and the recently enacted Fugitive Slave Law, and 
in consequence the Free Soilers took offense. Pierce, Sumner, iii, 

[ ii6] 

he voted for the resolutions of last winter. I should 
be content, if he would repeat those in his message, 
and say that he abides by them. Without some such 
adherence by him to our principles our whole combi- 
nation will be routed next autumn. 

Of these and other things I should like to talk with 
you. When shall you be in town? Mr. Hallam has 
lost his only other son, by sudden death at Sienna, 
The first died suddenly at Vienna. Who will write his 

In Memoriam ? 

iLver yours, 

Charles Sumner. 

How long does Miss [illegible] remain in Ames- 
bury. I must see you to-morrow, if I come up. 

P. S. Yr. last article in the Era was most inter- 

^ ''Slavery in Massachusetts," signed J. G. W., in the National 
Era, Nov. 28,1850. After an historical review the article continues: 
** It will be seen by the facts we have adduced that slavery in Mas- 
sachusetts never had a legal existence. The ermine of the judiciary of 
the Puritan State has never been sullied by the admission of its detest- 
able claims. It crept into the Commonwealth like other evils and vices, 
but never succeeded in clothing itself with the sanction and authority 
of law. It stood only upon its own execrable foundation of robbery 
and wrong.'* 


Boston, Sept, nth '51. 
Dear Whittier : 

I distrust myself where I differ from you ; 
but I do most sincerely believe that the good of our 
cause is most intimately connected with the triumph 
of the coalition' this autumn. And though I covet 
the entire absorption of the Dem. party by our force, 
yet 1 am willing to use them, and also for other matters 
to co-operate with them, on the best terms, we can 
get. Websterized Whiggry must be defeated. But 
this can be done only by a coalition, securing to 
freedom once more the BALANCE of power in 
the Legislature. For that balance of power I pray. 
Help us. Do.* 

Ever and ever thine, 

Charles Sumner. 

^ By the coalition of Free Soilers and Democrats, the preceding 
January, George S. Boutwell, a Democrat, had been elected Gov- 
ernor by the Legislature, the understanding being that the Democrats 
were to vote for a Free Soiler for U. S. Senator. Under this arrange- 
ment Sumner was elected in April, i 8 5 1 , defeating Winthrop, a Whig, 
after a long, hardfought contest. ** The triumph of coalition" was 
not obtained ; the Democrats in November having a majority without 
any Free Soil votes. 

* Whittier's reply, from the Letter Book of Charles Sumner^ Har- 
vard Library. 

jimesburyy i^tb gth mo. 1 8 5 1 
My dear Sumner : 

Thy note has been rec'd, and I will write thee in a day or two. 
The proceedings of the Whig Convention have gone far to reconcile 
m.e to the views expressed in thy letter, Still I am not prepared to 

[ "8 ] 

P. S. Various reasons impose upon me silence dur- 
ing this contest; but I feel that my usefulness in the 
place to which I have been sent, much against my 
own desire, will much depend upon the success of the 
coalition. Imagine yr. Senator at Washington with 
Winthrop Govern [or] and a Websterized Whig Leg- 
islature. ' 

act : my old Liberty party impracticability is difficult to overcome. I 
want to be in Worcester, but I am not able to bear the fatigue and 

My friend Geo. Turner of this place is authorized to call on thee 
and if possible to secure thee as a lecturer in our new Lyceum. Do 
not refuse. I want to see thee before thou leaves for Washington. 

Thine ever, 

John G. Whittier. 

I Sumner was criticised at the time for not entering more heartily 
into the campaign, it being felt that as he had accepted office, he 
should work for the party. 


Haver hilly Ms, May 3, 1853. 
Friend Whittier : 

Your favor of the 12^ ultimo was duly rec'd. 
To the several points I now reply in their order. 

i'.* I much regret that your inclinations are some- 
what adverse to the publication of a portrait, from the 
fact that there are very many of your friends that de- 
sire it. I do not however understand you to peremp- 
torily decline the presentation of your "face" to the 
public. Should you on further consideration of the 
subject think it proper, I shall be most happy to have 
the honor of its publication, and assure you it shall 
be presented in the best style. If at any time you shall 
be disposed to sit for a picture for that purpose, please 
send it me with a statement of its cost and I will send 
the money to you. 

2*! With reference to the homestead. It is almost 
universally the case that pictures are made to appear 
better than their originals ; such may in some slight 
degree be the case with this, but I have never seen a 
picture that was so generally regarded as truthful as 

* Edwin P. Hill (18 18-1900), a merchant of Haverhill, was ac- 
tive in the same political circles with Whittier. He was appointed 
postmaster by Lincoln and served eight years. All through his life he 
maintained a connection, more or less close, with newspapers, either 
as correspondent or editorial writer. In 1853 he published the litho- 
graph, mentioned in the letter, which bears this inscription : 
" Birthplace of John G. Whittier, the American Quaker Poet, Haver- 
hill, Mass. To John G. Whittier, the Reform poet, this picture is 
most respectfully dedicated by the publishers.*' The plate is drawn 
from a rather indiiFerent painting by a local artist. 

C I20 ] 

this. Your friend Moses Emerson, who by the way- 
is a close observer^ says "it looks just like the old 
place," that he "should know it if he met the picture 
in England." It was necessary to leave out a few trees 
to get a good view. There is no well curb now, a few 
stones mark the place of the well, and those are be- 
hind a tree — the "old oaken bucket" is also gone. 

3*! With regard to the title &c, Horace Greeley calls 
you in his notice of your poems the " American 
Quaker poet" and he, you know, is an unpretending 
man and would not use words unreasonably, if he 
knew it ; I ventured to take that part of the title 
from him. We have a \kt\e pride in American talent, 
which finds its way out occasionally. 

The "repetition" you speak of, I could not well 
avoid. — Besides the Americanism, we have a pride 
in your position as a " Reform " poet; strictly speak- 
ing you are the only one we have, and I wished to 
unite this idea with the picture. I am sorry your 
sister and yourself do not entirely agree with this 
view, but trust it may be no decided objection in 
your mind. I had ordered the printing of the pic- 
tures, and that part was done before your letter was 
rec'd. It is regarded as an appropriate title by all who 
have spoken of it. 

If agreeable to you, I should like a short certificate 
bearing upon the correctness and general truthfulness 
of the picture. 

I send you 3 copies, and t also enclosed which please 
pass to the editor of the Villager. There is no charge 
for these — please accept them from the publisher 
with sentiments of high esteem. Truly thine, 

E. P. Hill. 


Boston, Nov. list '53. 
My dear Whittier: 

The day after our election, I left for New York, 

where, amongst other things I enjoyed the Xstal 

Palace and Uncle Tom's Cabin at the low theatre, 

now changed and elevated; and on my return Sunday 

morning found yr. letter.' 

The loss of the Constitution * is a severe calamity 
to the Liberal cause in this State. I deplore it from 
my heart. It seems to me that it may be traced to 
three causes. 

iV in order of time ; the defection of Palfrey and 
Adams which stimulated the Whigs and neutralized 
many of our friends. 

1''^^, Cushing's letter,^ which paralyzed the activities 
of the Democratic leaders ; and 

2^}^ the positive intervention of the Catholic Church. 
With any one of these sinister influences out of the 
way we should have established the new Constitution. 
With it would have come many beneficent changes, 
but beyond all else, it would have broken the back- 
bone of the Boston oligarchy, the stumbling-block of 

' In Appendix I, page 279. 

* Several amendments to the Constitution of Massachusetts had 
been submitted to vote in November, 1853, and w^ere rejected. 

3 A letter of Caleb Cushing, then Attorney General of the United 
States, discountenancing a further alliance of Democrats and Free Soil- 
ers, had great effect on those seeking office from the Democratic ad- 

[ 122 ] 

all reform and especially of all Anti-slavery. I honor 
Palfrey much for his life and for what at other times 
he has done; but I hardly venture to hope that he can 
by any future service repair the wrong he has done to 
our cause. 

I have not been a party to any counsels of our 
friends since the election. My hope is that the Whigs 
may yet be defeated in their efforts to secure the con- 
trol of the House, so that our friends may press their 
reforms with hope of success. 

My desire is for the plurality rule, that we may 
submit our cause directly to the people. Yea or Nay ! 
— In a week I leave for Washington. The Convention 
and the late contest have absorbed most of my time 
since the last Congress. Let me hear from you and 
be sure that I count upon your c[ounsel] and friend- 

Ever thine, 

Charles Sumner 


Cambridge^ June 26 y 1855. 
My dear Sir : 

After a day of excessive heat, passed in the 
class and lecture room, I have just been refreshed by- 
reading your charming poem — the Barefoot Boy.* I 
do not know that it has not been published before : 
but 1 never saw it until I took up this evening's Tran- 
script and my eye falling on the subject, read it 
through. The sensations and memories it called up 
were delicious as a shower in a summer afternoon; 
and I forgot the intervening years, forgot Latin and 
Greek — forgot boots and shoes and long-tailed and 
broad-tailed coats — and revelled again in the days 
and delights of jacket-hood, torn hat-hood and bare- 
foot-hood. For all this, I cannot help thanking you, 
and for so many other true touches of native poetry. 

' Professor of Greek at Harvard College from 1832, and President 
from i860 until his death in 1862. 

2 ** Blessings on thee, little man. 
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan! 
With thy up-turned pantaloons. 
And thy merry whistled tunes ; 
With thy red lips, redder still 
Kissed by strawberries on the hill ; 
With the sunshine on thy face. 
Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace ; 
From my heart I give thee joy, — 
I was once a barefoot boy.*' 

Poems, 396. 

[ 124 ] 

'TbiSy however, comes home to me in a peculiar man- 
ner. I feel the tingle of it, to the ends of my toes, and 
sigh to think of the double-soled boots I shall have to 
wear, until wearing anything will be bootless. 

Perhaps the following passage, in a lecture (one of 
a course delivered by me three years ago before the 
Lowell Institute in Boston) on the Life and Literature 
of the Greeks, will amuse you: — "To go barefoot 
never offended the usages of society, except on festive 
or state occasions ; and anyone who remembers with 
what delight he felt the firm touch of the earth, in 
Spring or early Summer, when the time came for 
throwing off his shoes and stockings, will agree with 
me in thinking that the Hellenic usage in this respect 
was more natural and agreeable than our own. Of all 
the enjoyments of childhood and youth in the country 
in former times, this of the soft fresh feeling of the 
genial earth pressed by the unshod sole of the foot, is 
undoubtedly one of the most delicious : — a pleasure, 
I fear, now fast vanishing away: — ^ hand inexpertus 
loquorJ " 

Your poem is a striking illustration how much 
poetry there is in the commonest objects, provided 
one has the skill to find it out. 

In another way, the novel of Christie Johnstone 
exhibits the same. That divine young fish woman is 
one of the freshest, most natural, most poetical, and 
most human creatures of modern times. Thank 
heaven, the world is not yet exhausted. The earth is 
as fresh as ever to him who will venture to touch it 
with his bare sole : the sea is as blue as ever, and the 
breezes are as delicious as ever, to all who will meet 
them half way. 

[ 125 ] 

Excuse my prosing. I once had the pleasure of 
meeting you personally; I have often met you in the 
pages of your books ; and I am always 

With true regard yours, 

C. C. Felton. 


Ameshury^ id of ^th months 1856. 
My dear Friend : 

Fearing that I may not be able to attend the 
meeting this evening, I beg leave, through thee, to 
say a word to my Fellow Citizens. I need not say how 
fully I sympathize with the object of the meeting, nor 
speak of my grief for the sufferings and danger of a 
beloved friend, now nearer and dearer than ever, 
stricken down at his post of duty for his manly de- 
fence of Freedom ; nor of my mingled pity, horror and 
indignation, in view of the atrocities in Kansas. It 
seems to me to be no time for the indulgence of mere 
emotions. Neither waiHng nor threats befit the occa- 
sion. It is our first duty to enquire why it is that the 
bad men in power have been emboldened to commit 
the outrages of which we complain. Why is it that 
the South has dared to make such experiments upon 

To my mind the answer is plain. The North is not 
united for Freedom as the South is for Slavery. We 
are split into factions ; we get up paltry side issues and 
quarrel with and abuse each other; and the Slave 
Power, as a matter of course, takes advantage of our 
folly. That evil power is only strong through our dis- 
sensions. It could do nothing against a united North. 

* This letter was read at a meeting of the citizens of Amesbury and 
Salisbury to express their feelings on the outrage upon the Hon. Charles 
Sumner in the Senate of the United States. 

[ 1^7 ] 

The one indispensable thing for us is Union. Can 
we not have it? Can we not set an example in this 
very neighborhood, Whigs, Democrats, Free Soilers 
and Americans, joining hands in defence of our com- 
mon liberties? We must forget, forgive, and unite.' I 
feel a solemn impression that the present opportunity 
is the last that will be offered us for the peaceful and 
Constitutional remedy of the evil which afflicts us. 
The crisis in our destiny has come; the hour is strik- 
ing of our final and irrevocable choice. God grant that 
it may be rightfully made. 

Let us not be betrayed into threats. Leave violence 
where it belongs, with the wrong doer. It is worse 
than folly to talk of fighting slavery, when we have 
not yet agreed to vote against it. Our business is with 
poll boxes, not cartridge boxes ; with ballots, not bullets. 
The path of duty is plain ; God's providence calls us 
to walk in it. Let me close by repeating, — Forget, 
Forgive, and Unite. 

Thy friend, 

John G. Whittier. 

^ ** The sentiment expressed in the letter of our esteemed fellow 
townsman, John G. Whittier, — forgive, forget and unite — seemed 
to animate all minds." Amesbury Villager ^ June 5, 1856. 


Boston, loth Dec, '56. 
My Dear Whittier : 

Your letter ' charmed and soothed me. Every 
day I thought of it, and chided myself for letting it 
go unanswered. Then came your beautiful poem of 
peace ^ depicting a true conquest, which made my 
pulse beat quick and my eyes moisten with tears. 
Truly do I thank you for that generous sympathy 
which you give to me, and also to mankind. 

At last we may see the beginning of the end of our 
great struggle. The North seems to have assumed an 
attitude which it cannot abandon. Meanwhile our 
duty is clear, to scatter everywhere the seeds of truth. 
Never was the poet needed more than now, and the 
orator too; for the audiences are now larger and more 

^ Whittier' s letter to Sumner in Appendix J, page 280. 
* "Joseph Sturge, with a companion, Thomas Harvey, has been 
visiting the shores of Finland, to ascertain the amount of mischief and 
loss to poor and peaceable sufferers, occasioned by the gun-boats of 
the allied squadrons in the late w^ar, with a view to obtaming relief for 

" The sunken boats of fishers. 
The foraged beeves and grain. 
The spoil of flake and storehouse. 
The good ship brings again. 
And so to Finland's sorrow 
The sweet amend is made. 
As if the healing hand of Christ 
Upon her wounds were laid." 
"The Conquest of Finland " and note. Poems, 377. 

[ 129 ] 

attentive than ever. No opportunity should be lost 
for pressing upon the public mind the best and strong- 
est statements of our cause and the most earnest ex- 
hortations to support it. 

My chief sorrow for seven months of seclusion has 
been that I have been shut out from the field of ac- 
tion. I am sad now that I am discouraged by my 
physician from making any present effort. I am per- 
mitted to take my seat and be quiet. My purpose is 
to leave here for Washington very soon. What I 
shall do there, must depend on my health. Oh ! I 
long to speak and liberate my soul. If 1 am able to 
speak, as I desire, I think that I shall be shot. Very 
well; I am content. The cause will live. But I cannot 
bear the thought that I may survive with impaired 
powers, or with a perpetual disability. 

If I live till March, I shall hurry to Europe ; there 
in travel to recruit my system and to forget that I am 
an invalid. Let me hear from you. 

Believe me, always affect^^^ yours, 

Charles Sumner. 


Cambridge^ \oth Aug, 1857. 
My dear Whittier : 

I write to you in behalf of the editors of the 
new Magazine to be published in Boston, to ask you 
to contribute to it. They hope to have you for a 
regular contributor, and will make the terms of pay- 
ment agreeable to yourself The Mag. I understand 
will be a free one, and on the right side. Emerson, 
Longfellow, Prescott, Motley, Holmes, Hawthorne, 
Whipple and others are, / know, to be contributors. 
I hope that no engagements will stand in the way of 
your writing [for] it. 

I take particular pleasure in executing this commis- 
sion, because it gives me a chance to thank you for a 
poem of yours (The last walk in Autumn),' which 
gave me a special thrill of delight — so much so, in- 
deed, that I thought of writing to you at the time. 
Nor let me forget the Sycamore^ in my thanks. 

Should you send anything, address 

F. H. Underwood, care of Phillips, Sampson & 
Co., Boston. 

Renewing old expressions of regard, 
I remain, 

faithfully yours, 

J. R. Lowell. 

* Poems, 150. * Poemsy 56. 


Cambridge^ 1^ J^^y* 1858. 
My Dear Whittier : 

Till Mr. Underwood told me last evening of 
your note to him, I was under the impression that I 
had written to you. I devoted a forenoon to bringing 
up my correspondence, and you were on my list, and 
how it came that I neglected you, I can only explain 
by the constant distraction of the printing-office. I am 
responsible for Maga — — ; all questions are brought 
to me about corrections and the like. So you will easily 
see that with my classes and recitations in College, I 
am pretty thoroughly employed. So do, pray, keep 
forgiving me, and I will keep promising to be a good 
boy. What I tell you of my connection with Maga, 
is confidential, for I should be overwhelmed by young 
authors, if they knew anything about it. 

When I received your last poem, I had already got 
in type another poem on the same topic, so that yours 
was out of the question, and therefore the more reason 
that I should have written. I hold out my hand for 
the ferule like a man. Do let your writing and saying 
you will send another poem soon, be my punish- 

I think you will like No. 4 almost as well as No 3. 
— and on the whole, I can't help feeling that we have 
made the promise of a good magazine. 

Don't you ever write prose nowadays ? Suppose 
you try your hand on something for us. You see 

[ 13^] 

how I am corrupted already and begin to regard 
filling up. 

On reading your poem over again in print, I take 
back what I said about its being long. I think it beauti- 
ful and quite short enough. I don't pretend to under- 
stand a thing fully in Ms ; 1 am so fagged. 
Ever sincerely yours, 

J. R. Lowell. 


South Woodstock^ Conn, 

1st August^ 1859. 
My dear Friend : 

Mrs. Bailey, in a letter just rec*^ from her, says: 

" If I can carry the paper (the ' Era ') through the 

next year, I shall have no fears of its success/ 1 have 

written to Mr. Whittier to urge him to resume his 

connection with the paper. Of late, it has been merely 

nominal. A very little labor on his part would be of 

great service to me, and I shall be well able to pay 

him a full remuneration, I have no doubt. If you 

think well of this, will it be too great a favour to ask 

you to write to Mr. Whittier and urge or ask him to 

help me, etc." 

I am sure you will do all you consistently can, to aid 

Mrs. Bailey. How far your health and engagements 

will permit you to render the assistance she desires, I 

am unable to say. I promised to write to you, not 

to "urge" you to assume any additional labor, but 

to say how agreeable it would be to me and to the 

numerous friends of Dr. Bailey and the Era, if you 

could resume your former position In regard to the 

paper. I need say no more. Mrs. Bailey Is a talented 

woman. The doctor^ put great confidence In her, 

and she has been an able assistant to him throughout 

^ The Era suspended March 22, i860. 

* Dr. Gamaliel Bailey died June 5, 1859. -^^ ^^ ^^^» ]^Y 7» 
1859, is Whittier's tribute: — 

**The future historian of the Anti-Slavery movement will find few 

[ 134] 

his editorial career. She has literary taste and quali- 
fications, but whether her political knowledge will be 
sufficient to superintend the paper, time must deter- 

On the whole, I think it best to enclose her note 
that you may see how stedfast she seems to be to her 
husband's principles. I hope you will give her some 
good advice. 

Allow me to express my gratification on reading 
your tribute ' to the memory of our departed friend, 
Sturge, in the " Independent " of last week. I read in 
the "Atlantic" of August, " My Psalm." ^ If you 
wrote that exquisite poem, I shall treasure it as one of 
your very best, and if some other person wrote it, I 

nobler pictures for his canvas than that of the slight figure of the Anti- 
Slavery editor, alone with his family, unarmed and unsupported in the 
heart of a slave-holding city [Washington] calmly confronting an 
armed and excited multitude, declaring his determination to live and 
die a free man, and to speak and print his sentiments freely and fully, 
subject only to the laws of his country; and closing with an appeal, at 
once touching and manly, to the better natures of his opponents, until 
threats changed to cheers, and the really generous but misguided popu- 
lace pressed towards him, not to maltreat or intimidate, but to shake 
the hand of a brave and honest man. ' ' 

'^ ** In Remembrance of Joseph Sturge," Poems, 199. 

* *' I mourn no more my vanished years: 
Beneath a tender rain. 
An April rain of smiles and tears. 
My heart is young again. 

*' The west- winds blow, and, singing low, 
I hear the glad streams run; 
The windows of my soul I throw 
Wide open to the sun.*' 

"My Psalm," Poems, 397. 

[ ^35 :\ 

shall consider it a happy imitation of your choicest 

effusions.' t- ^ ur n 

Jt<aithrully yours, 

L. Tappan. 

I expect to be in N. Y. soon. 

^ **The practice of withholding names of contributors in the Atlantic 
continued until 1862, when the index at the end of the volume dis- 
closed the authorship of the articles in the body of the magazine, and 
in 1870 the practice was begun of signing contributions." Scudder, 
Lowelly i, 422. 


Columbus^ Nov, 23, i860. 
My dear Friend : 

I missed no gloves, but presume those left at 

friend Sparhawk's were mine. I am gratified that you 

made them useful to the cause and to yourself. 

We have indeed great reason to rejoice; for the 
power of the Slave Interest is certainly broken. What 
use will be made of the victory, does not so clearly 
appear. Some indications lead me to apprehend that 
the wisest and best use will not be made. Great ef- 
forts will doubtless be put forth to degrade Republi- 
canism to the Compromise level of 1850. 

There are also some serious dangers on the disunion 
side. I have always regarded the Slavery question as 
the crucial test of our institutions ; and it has been my 
hope and prayer that a peaceful settlement of this 
question on the basis, first, of denationalization, and 
then final enfranchisement through voluntary State 
action, would establish beyond all dispute the superi- 
ority of free institutions, and the capacity of a free 
Christian people to deal with every evil and peril lying 
in the path of its progress. 

^ Of Chase Whittier wrote in 1873 {Prose Worksy ii, 278): 
" The grave has just closed over all that was mortal of Salmon P. 
Chase, the kingliest of men, a statesman second to no other in our 
history, too great and pure for the Presidency, yet leaving behind him 
a record which any incumbent of that station might envy." 

The letter is marked ** Private and Confidential," but the occasion 
for such ceased long ago. It illustrates the difficult situation that had 
to be faced after the election of Lincoln. 

[ 137 ] 

To this end, all needless irritation should be care- 
fully avoided, and much forbearance exercised. The 
citizens of the Free States have now to suffer injuries, 
when travelling or temporarily sojourning in Slave 
States, which, under ordinary circumstances and upon 
common principles, would, as between independent 
sovereignties, justify extreme measures. If extreme 
measures are not resorted to, it is because the people 
of the Free States love the Union and prefer to for- 
bear. And this is right. 

On the other hand, however, the Slave States have, 
regarding matters from their standpoint, some just 
causes of complaint. The slaveholders undoubtedly 
think that they have a right to take their slaves, as 
property, into the territories and be protected in hold- 
ing them by Federal power, and nearly all jurists and 
statesmen. North and South, are agreed that the Fugi- 
tive Servant Clause of the Constitution entitles them 
to have their fugitive slaves delivered up on claim. 
The Republicans insist, however, that the first de- 
mand is not well founded in the Constitution, while 
some propose what they call a reasonable Fugitive Act 
in satisfaction of the second, and others, still, refuse to 
have anything to do with the returning of fugitives, 
Constitution or no Constitution. 

Now two facts seem clear to me ; first, that the Con- 
stitution was intended to create, and fairly construed, 
does create an obligation, so far as human compacts 
can, to surrender fugitives from service ; and secondly, 
that in the progress of civilization and Christian hu- 
manity it has become impossible that this obligation 
shall be fulfilled. With my sentiments and convic- 
tions, I could no more participate in the seizure and 

[ 138] 

surrender to slavery of a human being, than I could 
in cannibalism. Still there stands the compact : and 
there in the Slave States are fellow citizens, who verily 
believe otherwise than I do, and who insist on its ful- 
filment and complain of bad faith in its nonfulfilment: 
and in a matter of compact I am not at liberty to sub- 
stitute my convictions for theirs. 

What then to do ? Just here it seems to me that 
the principle of compensation may be admitted. We 
may say, true there is the compact — true, we of the 
Free States cannot execute it — but we will prove to 
you that we will act in good faith by redeeming our- 
selves through compensation from an obligation which 
our consciences do not permit us to fulfil. Mr. Rhett 
of S. C. once very manfully denounced the Fugitive 
Act as unconstitutional, but still insisted on the Con- 
stitutional obligation v^hich he summed up in these 
words "Surrender or Pay." Now, if we say we can- 
not surrender, but we will pay, shall we not command 
the highest respect for our principles, and do a great 
deal towards securing the final peaceful and glorious 
result which we all so much desire ? 

There would be some difficulties of detail, if the 
principle were adopted ; but none insuperable. 

There is still another plan of adjustment which 
might be adopted, though 1 fear that, in the Slave 
States, and perhaps in the Free States, it would meet 
with greater objection. It would consist in amendments 
of the Constitution by which the Slave States would 
give up the Fugitive Slave Clause altogether, and the 
Free States would agree to a representation in Con- 
gress of the whole population, abrogating the three 
fifths rule. One advantage of this would be that the 

[ 139 ] 

Constitution would be freed from all discriminations 
between persons, and would contain nothing which 
could, by any implication, be tortured into a recog- 
nition of Slavery. Will you think over these matters 
carefully and give me your ideas upon them ? 

I have written in much haste, but I think you will 
understand me. What I have written is too crudely 
expressed for any but friendly eyes ; and I hope that 
you will let nobody see this letter, except if you think 
fit, our friend Sparhawk and your sister. 

Affectionately and faithfully yours, 

S. P. Chase. 
John G. Whittier 


Senate Chamber. 

Sth Feb. '61. 
My dear Whittier : 

I deplored S's speech/ V^ and 2"^ The first 
he read to me, and I supplicated him not to make it. 
The true-hearted here have been filled with grief and 

People are anxious to save our forts, to save our 
Nat. Capitol ; but I am more anxious far to save our 
principle which leaders now propose to abandon, as 
Mr. Buchanan proposes to abandon Fort Sumpter ! 
The public pride averted the latter ; I hope that the 
public conscience may avert the former. My old say- 
ing is revived in my mind, Backbone. This especially 
is needed here. If saved, it will be by events, and not 
by men. The inordinate demand of the Slave States 
will make it next to impossible to appease them. Even 
compromises cannot go so far. If they asked less, we 
should be lost. 

Pray keep Massachusetts firm and strong. She 

^ '* On the 1 2th of January, i86i, Mr. Seward delivered in the 
Senate Chamber a speech on The State of the Union, in which he 
urged the paramount duty of preserving the Union, and went as far as 
it was possible to go, without surrender of principles, in concessions to 
the Southern party." 

** Statesman, I thank thee and, if yet dissent 
Mingles, reluctant, with my large content, 
I cannot censure what was nobly meant." 
"To William H. Seward " and note. Poems, 332. 

C HI ] 

must not touch a word of her Personal Lib^^ * Laws. 
The slightest act of surrender by her would be a signal 
for the abasement of the Free States. God bless you ! 

Ever yours, 

Charles Sumner. 

' Laws prescribing proceedings under the Fugitive Slave Law. 
Governor Andrew in his inaugural, January, 1861, called attention to 
the comment that some provisions of Massachusetts law might be in 
conflict with the U. S. Constitution. Chapter 9 1 of the Acts of 1 86 1 , 
concerning habeas corpus and personal liberty, was passed in March, 
by which, though some modifications were made in response to the 
demand for amendments, the whole was strengthened and the return 
of fugitives made more difficult. Fortunately no occasion arose to test 
its provisions. 


San Francisco, 

Feb. 27, 1862. 
My dear Mr. Whittier: 

All good Quakers think it wrong to resist the 
inward urgency and stress of the Spirit. I am so far a 
Quaker as to share their belief that it is sin to offer 
any private obstruction, either of laziness or timidity, 
to the impulse or voice which says " Bear witness to 
the truth ! " 

Your Port Royal poem * and hymn is so noble 

* A photograph of King still hangs in the ''Garden Room** at 
Amesbury with those of Longfellow, Beecher, Emerson, and Garrison. 
King ( 1 824-1 864) was minister at Hollis Street Church, Boston, 1 848 
to i860, and afterwards, until his death, at San Francisco, where he 
was a power for the Union. 

" When we say that King kept California strong for the Union, we 
do not mean that he simply was the eloquent voice through which the 
general Union sentiment found expression, but that he guided Union 
opinion; that he both anticipated and defended the measures which 
eventually made the cause of the Union successful. He became a power 
in California, because he had the sagacity to detect, and the intrepidity 
to denounce, the treason which skulked under loyal phrases and catch- 
words; and his influence was measured, not by his bursts of declama- 
tory eloquence on the blessings of union, but by the skill with which 
he took the people, as it were, out of the hands of disloyal politicians, 
and induced them to give their vigorous support to the administration 
of the National government." — Introduction by E. P. Whipple to 
Substance and Shadow y by T. S. King. 

2 "At Port Royal," Whittier, Poems, 337, and "Mason and 
Slidell, a Yankee Idyl,*' Lowell, Poems, 228, were both in the Jt- 
lanticy February, 1862. 

[ H3 ] 

and sweet that everybody, who has been as deeply 
moved by it as I have, ought to thank you, even at 
the risk of offending you by intrusive compliment. 
But the edge of the Pacific is so far off that we can 
take liberties, knowing that the blush does n't come 
till four weeks after the offence. 

I have seen, with joy here, the response to your 
hymn, and in quarters which prove to us that we live 
in a different moral stratum from our abode of two 
years ago. I have read it to several friends who were 
fitly moved, showing that the air of civilization ex- 
tends as far West now as California. But what do you 
say to the news that U. S. officials, not knowing the 
author, have come to me to ask who could have writ- 
ten it, and to say that they had copied it and committed 
it to memory ? Such is the fact. Our Postmaster here 
repeats a verse every time I go into his office. Our 
Collector delights in it ; and yesterday the U. S. Land 
Surveyor, Col. Beale, stopped me in the street, to 
inquire who the author was, and to say that he had 
written it off from memory at his official desk that 
day. Does not the world move ? Ah, yes, and do not 
poets help it ? 

It strikes me is very singular that one number of 
the " Atlantic " should contain such powerful testi- 
mony to the poetic capacities of our Yankee and 
Negro patois as the " Idyl " by Hosea Biglow, and 
your poem (which I call " Habakkuk and honey ") 
offer. Heaven preserve both our Burnses for long 
service, until their spirit bursts from our whole con- 
stitution and code ! 

I must tell you one other fact. Two or three weeks 
ago, there was an immense gathering in the largest hall 

C H4 ] 

of our city, on the anniversary of our Orphan Asylum 
Association, which is supported entirely by private 
bounty. I delivered the address. The community had 
been scoured for money for the sufferers by the Sac- 
ramento flood in the interior, for whom, in four 
weeks, we had raised sixty thousand dollars. It was 
decided to take up a collection after the address, in 
the hope of getting three hundred dollars, the amount 
taken last year. I spoke forty minutes, told the people 
that we must give, even if our pockets were empty 
and closed with a recitation of a certain poem about 
Tritemius ^ of Herbipolis and the candlesticks. You 
might have heard the applause in Amesbury, and 
we took nearly seven hundred dollars in five minutes 
after the last line was read. So you are credited in 
heaven with a large subscription to our orphan fund. 

Am I wrong in telling you these things ? I don't 
believe it. Men ought to know when they do good. 
It makes them humble and grateful. 

What is to be the issue of our victories ? I tremble 
lest the uncircumcised triumph still in the settlement. 
It looks to me as though the little finger of the Bor- 
der State is to be thicker than our loins. But God is 
not to be cheated. And if our bayonets spare the 
slave-code, his lightning is not to be so merciful. I 
watch Congress now more intensely than Burnside 
and Halleck. Nashville has fallen ; when will the Bas- 
tile fall ? I have tried to do a little here for the good 

' ''The Gift of Tritemius," Poems , 54; the first of Whittier's 
contributions to the Atlantic. King knew that Whittier would remem- 
ber a previous occasion when King had read most effectively the long 
poem, *' The Panorama" {Poems, 323), at the opening of a lecture 
course in Tremont Temple, Boston, in the exciting days of 1856. 

[ H5] 

cause. But you poets are the statesmen now. God 
bless all of you, ?Lndyou as you deserve ! Your grate- 
ful friend, 

Th. Starr King. 

I look out from my window upon hills brilliant 
with Spring. The green is brighter than any ever seen 
in New England. We take our verdure in winter. 


Wayland^ June i^th, 1864. 
Friend Whittier: 

I am preparing a book for the Freedmen/ 
which I hope will sow seed that will ripen into har- 
vests, years after I am gone. Our literature is not 
adapted to their condition. I want to give them good 
moral instruction in a simple, attractive form ; to en- 
courage them by presenting honorable examples of 
what has been done by people of color ; and to infuse 
kindly feelings toward their former masters. 

I am desirous to insert the Christmas Hymn ^ you 
wrote for the freed children at Port Royal. I have 
hunted the newspapers for it in vain. Have you a 
newspaper containing it, which you could either give 
me, or lend me? If you have, and will send it to me, 

* Mr. Whittier often remarked that Mrs. Child was ostracised in 
the early days on account of her anti-slavery principles. *' No woman 
in this country," said he, "has sacrificed so much for principle as 
Mrs. Child. She gave promise in early life of great literary ability, 
but when she espoused the cause of the Abolitionists she found no 
market for her books and essays, and her praises were suddenly si- 
lenced." — Claflin, Whittier, ^o. 

* Freedmen' s Book by Lydia Maria Child, 1865. 

3 ** Oh, none in all the world before 
Were ever glad as we! 
We *re free on Carolina's shore, , 

We 're all at home and free." 
** Hymn, sung at Christmas by the Scholars of St. Helena's Island, 
S. C," Poems, 340. 

[ 147 ] 

I shall feel greatly obliged. If any word of advice 
occurs to you concerning the book, I should be thank- 
ful to receive it. My object is to do the poor crea- 
tures the greatest good I can. I shall take no com- 
pensation for the work I do. I shall put it to them at 
a low price, and give them the money, to be placed 
in the hands of trustees among themselves, of their 
own choosing, to be expended for libraries. This mode 
of proceeding will, I think, promote self-respect and 
self-reliance among them. 

How sorry I was that the proposed amendment 
to the Constitution was defeated ! Oh, that wicked 
Democratic Party ! How heartless and unprincipled 
it is ! It is some comfort that the Fugitive Slave Law 
is repealed. I am thankful to have lived to see that 
iniquity overturned. 

I am exceedingly sorry for the course Wendell 
Phillips is pursuing. I think he is making a great mis- 
take. Since Fremont has written a letter, so obviously 
courting the Copperheads, I don't see how he can 
stand by him. I should think the comparison between 
his letter and the letters of honest Abe and Andy 
Johnson, would put him to his thoughts. I chuckled 
over Andy Johnson's letter. It will delight me to have 
a rail-splitter for President, and a tailor for Vice Presi- 
dent. I hope the time will come when we shall have 
a shoe-black for Secretary of State, and more worthy 
of the position than the present incumbent. I have a 
\\v\x\g faith in Republican Institutions. 

As for Fremont, I have never entirely trusted him. 
In 1856, 1 wanted him to succeed, because the choice 
was between him and that unmitigated scoundrel, 
Buchanan. But Fremont's career in Mexico then 

[ 148 ] 

excited misgivings in my mind. He was a fillibuster, 
and one of a worse stamp than common. He went 
professedly on a scientific exploring expedition. The 
Mexicans treated him and his company with hospital- 
ity, kindness, and confidence; but he got up a fight 
with them without provocation, before war was de- 
clared by the government; and I have no doubt he 
did it in obedience to secret instructions from the Slave 
Power, who contrived the so-called Exploring Expe- 
dition as a mere farce. When he issued his Proclama- 
tion of Freedom,^ my enthusiasm, for the first time, 
was kindled in his favor. But I have not liked his 
conduct since he was removed from that command. 
It has not been manly and noble. When Burnside 
was removed, he said, " Give me any situation. Let 
me serve my country in some subordinate capacity." 
But Fremont has been talking about his dignity and 
his personal piques ; he has been receiving the pay of 
a General, and doing nothing for the country in her 

' On the 31st of August, 1861, General Fremont, then in charge 
of the Western Department, issued a proclamation which contained 
a clause, famous as the first announcement of emancipation : " The 
property," it declared, " real and personal, of all persons in the State 
of Missouri, who shall take up arms against the United States, or who 
shall be directly proven to have taken active part with their enemies 
in the field, is declared to be confiscated to the public use ; and their 
slaves, if any they have, are hereby declared free men." Mr. Lin- 
coln regarded the proclamation as premature and countermanded it, 
after vainly endeavoring to persuade Fremont of his own motion to 
revoke it. 

** Thy error, Fremont, simply was to act 

A brave man's part, without the statesman's tact. 
And, taking counsel but of common sense. 
To strike at cause as well as consequence." 

"To John C. Fremont" and note. Poems, 335. 

[ H9 ] 

hour of extreme need. Assuredly, he is not a great 
man. / do not believe he is a reliable one. I do hope 
Wendell Phillips will face about. 

\{ you and your sister come to Boston again, please 
let me know, that I may contrive to see you. With 
affectionate remembrance to her, I am 

Your friend of old time, 

L. Maria Child. 

To think of a mulatto girl writing such beautiful 
articles for the Atlantic Monthly I "- How the wheel 
of fortune has turned round ! 

Have you among your papers an anecdote of Tous- 
saint L'Ouverture, who saved the life of a young Eng- 
lishman, whom his followers were eager to have exe- 
cuted ? He said, "Let us send him to his mother. 
His death would break her heart." I can't find the 
anecdote, and I want it for my book. 

'^ Mrs. Child was not aware that the Christmas Hymn, above 
cited, had been written by Whittier at the request of Charlotte Forten, 
later Mrs. Francis J. Grimke, whose two articles on ** Life on the 
Sea Islands ' ' were then appearing in the Atlantic. 


Worcester y Mass, Oct. lo, 1864. 
Dear Friend: 

I have often thought of writing to you, since 
the great event/ and will do so, however little I can 
say. I remember, as if it were yesterday, the happy 
hours I have spent at your house with your mother 
and sister and yourself Your sister was the central 
figure; I never can forget her cordial kindness, nor 
her brilliancy in talk, nor the courage and truthfulness 
that gleamed behind her wildest sallies. I have often 
thought since, that I had scarcely met her equal in the 
quick interchange of salient thought. She roused and 
taxed my wits, I thought, more than any one I met ; 
it needed full resources to keep up with her. I re- 
member the peculiar dancing look in her full dark 
eyes and a gay little threatening motion of the head, 
when some bold words were coming. But it always 
was on the side of truth and right, everything she 
said, nothing that could wound. I used to wonder 
how she gained in her Friend^s training and invalid 
life, that conversational esprit which seemed rather to 
suggest a French salon. I recall now the glancing way 
in which, with a word, she characterized certain per- 
sons in our small circle, or in the world outside, and 
that I have found no better formula for them since, 
than her stray words gave. Her few verses show the 
same directness and penetration. I speak of her as I 
^ Elizabeth Whittier died September 3, 1864. 

[ '51 ] 

saw her, knowing how limited my view was, and what 
other and higher attributes you knew in your long 
and beautiful twinship. Surely these partings, as well 
as these presences, enrich our life, and are as much a 
part of our spiritual education as any joys ; and this 
must add something to the thoughtful reverence with 
which you have always looked upon the great Beyond. 

It is long since I have seen you ; not since we met 
here at Edward Earle's,' I think. I used to talk of 
you with that other noble and gifted friend, not long 
for this world I think, Charlotte Forten. There was 
so much in our lives in South CaroHna that would 
have interested you ; and she did not tell in her nar- 
rative how the distrust, with which the Negroes at 
first regarded her, yielded to her winning ways. 

My health is poor, though gaining. I was wounded, 
a year ago, on an expedition up the South Edisto, 
when we brought away 200 slaves from the rice fields. 
I have never been well since and have now resigned, 
though it is not yet accepted. We go, in about a fort- 
night, to take up our abode in Newport, R. I., where 
we expect to live ; my wife wintered there last year 
with great benefit ; the winter climate is so very mild. 
We live with the Dames, good Friends in every sense. 
Newport is one of the Meccas of your Society ; how 
pleasant it would be to us if you would come there 
to live. My wife desires her regard and sympathies 
and echoes the wish. 

Ever cordially your friend, 


^ " Edward Earle of Worcester was the ablest and most justly 
influential of the Friends' Society." Higginson, Whittier, 121. 


Office of Women Nurses ^ 
U, S. Hospital Servicey Washington D. C. 
January iith 1865. 
To J. G. Whittier, Esq' 

Sir ; Lately being in Frederick City on Hos- 
pital Inspection, I learned some facts concerning 
"Barbara Frietchie/' whose name is almost immortal- 
ized in your patriotic poem, 

" Up from the meadows rich with corn " ; 

and I obtained from a member of her family the 
carte'' which I enclose, believing if you do not already 
possess it, you will be gratified to receive what is said 
by her friends to be a very excellent likeness. 

Barbara Frietchie had not become disabled from 

^ Miss Dix (i 805-1 887 ) ** refused point-blank " to acknowledge 
publicly that she told S. M. Felton, President of the Philadelphia and 
Baltimore R. R., about the plots at Baltimore against Lincoln. Act- 
ing on this information, he made the elaborate preparations which en- 
sured Lmcoln's safety on the journey from Philadelphia to Washington 
for his first inauguration. 

During the war she served as Superintendent of Women Nurses, 
in which capacity her long experience in hospital work was of great 
use. Tiffany, Life of Dorothea L. DiXt 333; Nicolay and Hay, 
Lincoln , iii, xx. 

2 To one of many friends who asked him if Barbara was a myth, 
Whittier answered in a letter, dated October 19, i860: *«I had a 
portrait of the good Lady Barbara from the saintly hand of Dorothea 
Dix, whose life is spent in works of love and duty. . . .'* 

Pickard, Whittier, 458. 

In Barbara Fritchie, a Study, by Caroline H. Dall (1892), the 
story of the ** good lady " is given in detail. The form Fritchie accords 
with the inscription on her headstone. 

[ ^S3 ] 

performing many duties and pleasant offices of life, 
though of so advanced years. Till a few weeks before 
her decease, she prepared delicacies for sick soldiers 
in the Hospitals. Knitting was a favorite employ- 
ment. Her house was a model of order, and neat 
habits had always characterized her domestic life. She 
was remarkably fond of her garden, and was singu- 
larly successful in the cultivation of flowers, of which 
she had the earliest and finest varieties. Indeed when- 
ever, on festive occasions, choice flowers were in re- 
quest, " Aunt Barbara's " liberal hand bestowed the 
most beautiful and fragrant. 

She was fond of children — but she expected they 
should regard her orders. I fear [not any] who were 
unruly, or who failed to regard her cleanly scoured 
floors, could expect the nice cakes and apples she held 
in store to dispense to all " good boys and girls." She 
received her relatives and friends on her last birthday, 
presenting in the old fashion nuts, cakes and wine. 

To the last, she testified in inspiring terms her ab- 
horrence of Treason and Traitors; she walked "rest- 
ing upon a staffs," and carried an air of dignified ven- 
erable age, always respected. She Is remembered with 
aff^ection, and those who had known her intimately for 
half a century and more, were her most devoted friends. 

I have nothing to add more of this remarkable wo- 
man, but in conclusion, I desire to express to you my 
sentiments of respect, and to acknowledge myself 
long your debtor in the instruction and enjoyment 
derived from your poetical books. 

D. L. Dix 


U. S. Hospital Nurses. 


Boston, Aug. 1st, 1865. 
My dear Mr. Whittier : 

Here Is one of those everyday miracles, — 
eight pages from an amie inconnue who has nothing 
to say, except indeed in her last paragraphs, where 
she praises you so heartily that you must see it. 
When you have read it, you may return it, if you 
please, to go into my private collection of letters from 
unseen women. I suppose you are wise enough to 
burn yours, else you must have a mountain of them. 
I write also, as I have just done to Longfellow, to 
ask whether you mean or not to write for something 
our Boston Mercantile Library Association is getting 
up for their fair. They tell me they have asked your- 
self, Longfellow, Read, Baker, Saxe and myself. I 
don't like such requests. I hate to dribble away what 
little show of thought or sentiment there may be in 
me. But if everybody writes, I suppose I must. I 
wish I were better at saying No ! the hero's mono- 

Very truly yours, 

O. W. Holmes. 

Read my postscript. 
I came within a hair's breadth of forgetting to say 
with what delight I read your poem, " The Change- 
ling," — was it not ? — the one where the mother 
thought her child was bewitched. I think this and 
" The Wreck of Rivermouth " have more atmosphere 


and a tenderer light in them than anything you have 
written,' I am tempted to say, but I will not be rash. 
I meant to have written just after reading the "Change- 
ling," and I am glad of a chance to tell you how sweet 
and tender it seems to me. 

Yours again always, 

O. W. Holmes. 

^ "The Changeling," Poems y 251, ^-^^Q^rtdim Atlantic, ]\x\y, 
1865. "The Wreck of Rivermouth," Poems, 245, was published 
in 1864. 


New Torky Mar. 31 66. 
Jno. G. Whittier, Esq., 

My Dear Friend: 

My feelings you may better imagine than I can 
express them, on the receipt of a noble letter from 
that kind and true soul, Hon. C. M. Clay, with the 
welcome announcement of the gracious decision of 
His Majesty the Emperor Alexander, liberating my 
brother and allowing him to come to this country, 
such as has never before been shown to any other; 
and I shall be your debtor all the rest of my life. I 
positively believe that your letter to our friend Mr. 
Clay, did secure his full sympathy in my brother's 
case. I sent to you a copy of the New York Times, 
but the full letter of Mr. Clay was not published. As 

^ Colonel Julian Allen was a Pole of noble birth who had escaped 
arrest, while a student in Poland, by flight to this country, an account 
of which he published in Jutocrasy [sic] in Poland (New York, 
1854). ^^ ^^^^^ married a relative of Whittier. In January, 1865, 
he received a formal resolution of thanks from the citizens of Savan- 
nah (War Record I. xlvii, Pt. II, 169) "for his kindness in offer- 
ing to advance the funds, and to make purchases for the corporate 
authorities of the city of Savannah until he could be reimbursed by 
shipments of rice, and also for his philanthropic exertions in bringing 
to the notice of citizens of New York and Boston the destitute condi- 
tion of our people of which he became personally cognizant while 
among us." He was an agent of the U. S. Treasury in Savannah. 
In Boston alone thirty- three thousand dollars was subscribed and a 
steamboat load of provisions sent. 

C 157] 

per enclosed copy, you will see that he kindly wishes 
to be remembered to you and says that it gave him 
pleasure to oblige you. My wife joins in sending love 
to you. When shall we have the pleasure of seeing 
you at our house ? 

Your Friend and Servant, 

Julian Allen. 

Copy : 

Sl Petersburgy 
February 1866. 

To THE Minister: 

In reply to the letter which you addressed to 
me of the 2/14 of February ; it becomes my duty to 
inform you that the petition which it contained on the 
subject of Sir Michel MeyendorfF, having been sub- 
mitted to His Majesty, the Emperor, my august mas- 
ter has deigned to order as a mark of exceptional 
favor, that the Sir Michel Meyendorff may be author- 
ized to join his family in America. 

It is a pleasure to me, M. Minister, to bring to your 
notice this gracious decision of His Majesty the Em- 
peror, and I profit by this occasion to offer you the 
assurance of my m.ost distinguished consideration. 


Copy : 

St, Petersburg^ Ra. 

Feb. 24, 1866 
Dear Sir : 

Your letter of the 29th Jan. ult. with the other 
documents in reference to your half-brother Michael 

[ 158 ] 

MeyendorfF, were duly received, and I lost no time in 
bringing all my influence in my humble way, to favor 
your cause. 

To-day Prince Gortachacov sent for me, and said 
as a special favour, and as an " exceptional " case. His 
Imperial Majesty has granted my petition for the 
sending of your brother to America, which will be at 
once done in a quiet way. 

I have advanced to the Russian Government 
RS500 as requested, but of my own funds, for the 
use of your brother and drawn upon Secretary Seward, 
in favour of Baring Brothers for the same. Please 
pay over that amount to the State Department. 

Trusting, my dear sir, that your brother may soon 
be restored in health and safety to his family, who have 
in your personal devotion to our noble cause in our 
late war, so many claims upon my sympathies and 
gratitude, I am, my dear Sir, 

Your friend, 

(Signed) C. M. Clay. 

Col. Julian Allen, 

New York, U. S. A. 

N. B. Please remember me to J. G. Whittier, whom 
with yourself it gave me great pleasure to obey in this 



New York City, Jan. 15, '67 
Mr. Whittier, 
Dear Sir : 

You know Mr. Phillips takes the ground that 
this is "the negroes' hour/' and that the women, if 
not criminal, are at least, not wise to urge their own 

Now, so sure am I that he is mistaken and that 
the only name given, by which this country can be 
saved, is that of Woman, that I want to ask you (if 
you agree with me) to use your influence to induce 
him to reconsider the position he has taken. 

He is the only man in the nation, to whom has 
been given the charm which compels all men, willing 
or unwilling, to listen when he speaks. That such a 
man at such an hour, should consent to narrow the 
application of a universal principle to a single class, 
must be because the Fiend who desires the ruin of the 
country has blinded his eyes, until he believes, or 
thinks he does, that the nation's peril can be averted, 
if it can be induced to accept the poor " half loaf" of 

^ *• One of the early Anti-Slavery orators was Lucy Stone. She was 
the editor of the Woman's Journal. She was an eloquent speaker and 
charmed her audiences. One evening in Western New York, I took 
a Democratic lawyer to hear her. As we were leaving the hall at the 
close of the meeting, my friend turned toward the platform, where 
Miss Stone was still standing, and said in a dazed sort of way : * Little 
lady, I do not believe in your doctrines, but God made you an orator. * " 

Stanton, Recollections^ 6. 

[ i6o ] 

justice for the negro, which is poisoned by its lack 
of justice for every woman in the land. Mr. Phillips 
used to say " take your part with the perfect and ab- 
stract right, and trust God to [see] that it shall prove 
the expedient." Now he needs some one to help him 
to that high point again. I know that he has great 
personal love for you, and respect for your opinions, 
and because he has, you may be the " Good Fairy," 
who can help him to his proper self. Will you not 
try ? Very respectfully, 

Lucy Stone. 


Appledore, March \ith^ [1867]. 

My dear Friend: 

I wonder if you know the aspect of Appledore 
at this unmitigated time of year ! The sky is like a 
cover of tin, the sea is leaden, the rocks are iron, the 
snow lies ghastly white in patches, and out of the 
bitter east there blows a wind of despair. Now and 
then a coaster creeps along the shore, with dark and 
weather-beaten sails, or a little boat scuds past towards 
Portsmouth with a " fare of fish " to dispose of, or a 
lonely bird flies over, — nothing else living breaks the 
monotony. Indoors, the flowers bloom, the birds sing, 
the little golden fishes are graceful and bright in their 
transparent globe, the fire burns clear. My Vikings 
come and go, and I love the sight of their ruddy 
cheeks, and yellow beards more than tongue can 

^ Mrs. Thaxter was an especially welcome correspondent of Whit- 
tier's. He wrote her, 8th mo, 8, 1867 : "It is to sheer kindness of 
heart, my dear friend, that I owe thy pleasant letters so vividly repre- 
senting life at the Shoals. They are wonderfully hospitable letters — 
they give me the freedom of the island. I sit by thy parlor fire in the 
stormy nights ; I see the tossing boats in the litde harbor ; the islands 
ringed round with foam ; I feel the spray as it tosses up through cleft 
and gorge ; and I hear thee telling stories to the young folks, and half 
fancy myself a boy among them, nestling close to thee, with * not 
unpleasant horror' as the tragedy deepens. It's all very nice, but it 
puzzles me to know why I am favored in this way. There must be 
some mistake ; I am getting what don't really belong to me." 

Pickard, Whittier, 524. 

[ i62] 

I sit by my mother's side and run the swift sewing- 
machine, and cut and fit and finish work in piles. I 
have been here nearly a fortnight and I think the sun 
has faintly smiled once during that time ; verily " an 
under-roof of doleful gray." Mr. Tennyson was not 
referring to our spring when he said, " When through 
wild March the throstle calls." I should like to see 
the throstle that would dare " — the winter's linger- 
ing chill — the mocking spring's perpetual cross." I 
think so ! " perpetual "; but I never used to mind, and 
found as much delight in the leaden sea as I do now 
in the divinest summer blue. 

Oh, when the south-west winds begin to blow, how 
all this will change! What a melting haze will steal 
down from Cape Ann and softly girdle the whole 
round horizon with a band of tender color, and how 
gracious and genial the world will look! And from 
this scanty soil will spring such flowers as the main- 
land never sees. "Violets, dim, but sweeter than the 
lids of Juno's eyes," so large and deeply colored and 
nearly all the "darlings of the spring," beside, only 
lovelier far than the flowers of the mainland. And the 
curlews will pipe and the sandpipers call clear from 
cove to cove along the shore, the sea will be alive 
with water fowl and the rocks with land birds. How 
curious it is that so many land birds find their way 
here and rest here for so long! That so many butter- 
flies and caterpillars and snakes do abide here ! Cedric 
has seen snakes floating on driftwood out on the mid- 

Did I ever tell you about the ball of fire that pur- 
sued a boat against the wind from Portsmouth ? I be- 
lieve I did. It is a queer story and the landsmen who 

[ i63 ] 

were being conveyed to Appledore in that boat were 
reliable people. 

Yesterday, several Star islanders, lean, brown, dry 
and wiry as their own salt fish, came over and an- 
nounced that a strange yawl-boat had been tossed 
ashore among the tumbling breakers on their island, 
and straightway the eastern " coast " of Appledore was 
scoured for any trace of wreck, and anxious eyes 
sought afar off on the dim and misty sea for any 
sign of dismantled vessel, but there was none to be 

Did I ever tell you of the musical accomplishments 
of the Star islanders ? Their singing is something truly 
astonishing, indeed, I might say, excruciating. They 
go at It precisely as if they were sawing wood, and 
grind out the sounds with such exertion that their 
faces become crimson and the perspiration stands In 
beads upon their foreheads. Fortunately there are not 
many gifted with this divine capacity. And they do 
so twist and turn the King's English that an interpre- 
ter Is absolutely necessary. 

An Individual, John Caswell by name, who is at 
present at the head of the " singers " of Star, occasion- 
ally comes over here, and of course he expects to be 
asked to sing, and he does sing, screwing his eyelids 
tight together and gesticulating In a way which is un- 
canny, and perfectly ridiculous to behold. One of his 
favorite songs begins In this style, so he renders it, 

" Down by some spe-cious medder-land abroad as I did roam, 
I sat me down, for pleasure, upon a moss-grown stone." 

You would hardly recognize "spacious meadow-land " 
— his accent on the spe is delicious. 

[ i64 ] 

Another one begins 

" In famous London City, luv, a damsel there did dwell, 
With fairy form and features, luv, she was called the Giniwy 

Why she was called the Genoa Queen this deponent 
saith not, and as she lived in famous London City, I 
don't see why she should have rejoiced in that title. 
If I only could give you the preposterous air of this 
song ! The dragging of some words and the clipping 
of others, — it has the most absurd effect. 

One doleful ballad tells the tale of a broken-hearted 
youth who fell in love with his mother's handmaid, 
Betsy, and his mother, being angry thereat, sent Betsy 
over seas, whereupon 

" O, he fell sick and like to have died, 
His mother round his sick-bed cried. 
But all her crying, it was in vain. 
For Betsy was aploughing the raging main." 

By the way, the dear little song from Orr's island, I 
set to one of the most melodious and melancholy of 
the Star tunes and my brothers like it so much they 
keep me singing it continually, [and call,] " Now, 
sister. The morning star was shining still," — half a 
dozen times in a day. I brought down your book with 
me and we have all had such a good time together 
over it ! It is funny. I left my boys singing about the 


" Fast as she prayed and faster still 
Hammered the Troll in Ulshoi hill," 

and Oscar and Cedy go humming about the house the 
same lines — there is a kind of fascination in the grim 
fate, I suppose. . . . 

[ ^6s] 

Dear friend, I have written this letter by fits, as I 
got time. I 'm afraid it won't be easy to read, or worth 
reading. The wind continues to howl, but now it 
comes from the (equally) bitter north and "gusty 
grows the sea" with streaks of cold green in the leade'n 
gray. If it relents sufficiently, I shall send across to 
Portsmouth next Monday, and betake myself to my 
nest and the birds that wait my coming with longing. 
I have got such a houseful of boys ! I wish I had three 
or four daughters or sisters or something of the sort. 
But then I dare say they (the boys) would not con- 
sider me so precious a household commodity as now 
they do, if the feminine element were more extensive. 
I think I am half asleep ! Do please pardon this 
untidy and incoherent epistle. Good night, and God 
bless and keep you always, most dear and precious 
friend. With loving reverence 

Yours ever, 

C. T. 


Dear M.\ Whittier : 

Something pleased us all very much yesterday, 
and I know you will be gratified by hearing of it. 
This was, as you know my home, for at least every win- 
ter, all my life, until I was "put into Coventry'' after 
'56. But old servants always come about me when I 
return here, and call me still " Miss Jessie," as they 
did when I was a girl. My mother and father not 
only gave freedom to all their own slaves, employing 
such as wished to stay on wages, but they employed 
free people, giving them a helping hand in their fam- 
ily cares and building up good will toward us, that I 
feel [sad] now, when of all our family, and of all our 
large circle of family connections and friends I alone 
am the one remaining here. It is very seldom I come 
to Washington ; lately I Ve been with my oldest boy 
who has just passed his examination at the Naval 
School, but when I do come it is only from dusky 
faces that I find the old greeting. 

Yesterday being the Fourth, our landlord (who is 
colored, as are all his employees, and it is confessedly 
the best kept house in Washington) brought in a little 
orator who is the pet of the colored schools. (In these 
schools are some eleven thousand children). This 
child of twelve recited " Sheridan's Ride " in so true 
and beautiful a voice, and with such natural power 
and beauty of expression, that we were charmed, and 
not less so when Wormly told us he might be called 

[ i67] 

one of our family, for he was the child of one of our 
best servants — one of a family of twenty-three. The 
mother is very alert and full of work, and comes daily 
to see after my comfort, although it is so many years 
now since any of us lived here. This child is named 
for her favorite nursling, the Rev? M' Eliot of St. 
Louis, and is a most promising child every way. 

But my long introduction leads to this, that when 
I told the child to recite something else that he liked 
best, and something he had learned by himself, then 
he smiled up at me and began your " Barbara Friet- 
chie." He has as strong natural dramatic voice and 
countenance as Dickens. He has seen troops march 
past "all day long," and who of us can tell what that 
flag has been to his color. It made my heart swell with 
thankfulness to feel we had had a part in this work. Was 
it not a truer keeping of the Fourth to hear this battle 
hymn to our flag recited by the little colored boy who 
under it had gained the right to use his talents, than 
to keep it as New York kept it ? 

You can never know the aid you were in this war. 
I have had to thank you for strength given to my 
Chief and to me,' and now I know it will please you 
to see how you are dear and familiar to those who, 
until so lately, had to stand dumb as sheep before the 
shearer, but who now have an equal right to education 
and all it brings. We will be travelling near you in a 
few weeks, and if you are at home, we will come again 

» Whittier by his pen had actively supported Fremont for the pre- 
sidency in 1856, as in "The Pass of the Sierras/' Poems, 321, ''A 
Song inscribed to the Fremont Clubs," Poems y 323, and others. 
The approval in "To John C. Fremont'* was especially welcome 
(ante, p. 148, note). 

C i68 ] 

to see you, and meantime the General and my daugh- 
ter join me in affectionate respects to you, dear M.' 

Jessie B. Fremont. 

Washington City, July 5^^ [1868] 
(at Wormly's) 


Coolidge House,^ 

ii^th Novbr [1868] 
My dear Whittier: 

Last evening I was told that you were in Bos- 
ton and to be found at the Marlboro House.^ I hur- 
ried there at once, and was pained to learn that you 
had left for home. This was hard for me, for I longed 
to see you. 

Why did you not let me know of your visit? It 
would have been pleasant to review our doings and 
note the great progression of events; and I wished 
also to look with you at the future and compare the 
destinies as we each see them. 

I confess my anguish when I think of the rebel 
States and the brutalities to which good people are 
exposed. Opportunity has been sacrificed during the 
last four years. I hope we can recover it. Can we ? 
Under proper influences those States could have been 

^ In Bowdoin Square, Boston, nearly opposite the Revere House, 
where Sumner lived after his home on Hancock Street was broken up, 
his mother having died in 1 866, and his attempt at establishing a home 
of his own having been of short duration. 

* The Marlboro House, Washington Street, between Winter and 
Bromfield Streets, was a favorite place with reformers for years. The 
reason may be discerned in an advertisement of it in the Libera- 
tor y July, 1837 : ** Efforts will be made to furnish the table with the 
products of free labor, and provision will also be made for those who 
prefer vegetable diet. Religious worship will be regularly maintained 
every day, and as far as possible to prevent, no company will be re- 
ceived or bills settled on the Sabbath. No smoking allowed. . . .** 

[ lyo ] 

moulded into Republican Commonwealths where every 
man should enjoy equal rights. But they have been 
hardened and bedevilled. 

Hope you are well, dear Whittier, and happy. Ex- 
cept in my throat I am reasonably well ; but there is 
very little happiness for me. This is my lot and I try 
to bear it. 

I am very sorry to have missed you. 
Good bye. 

Ever affectionately yours, 

Charles Sumner. 


Boston Oct, I'jth 1869. 
My dear Whittier : 

I find the poem' very musical, tender, charm- 
ing. I do not find anything forced or fantastic in the 
parallel between the two incidents. I suppose by your 
note that was what you feared, and I understand very 
well how you might wish to know the way in which 
it would strike another. I assure you, I never should 
have made the criticism which you apprehend, nor do 
I believe that others would have made it. I must find 
something to criticise, of course, or you will think me 
of no account whatever as an Aristarchus."* 

"Flowery rounds"^ is not quite so musical as some 
of your other endings, but it is hard to find two better 
words, perhaps, on the whole. 

" Danite athlete" ^ is open to the same slight objec- 

^ "The Hive at Gettysburg," Poems y 348, was suggested by an 
incident after the battle. Bees filled a * * shattered drum ' ' with honey, 
and a friend, finding it, sent a piece of the comb to Whittier. 
2 *« Whose looks were as a breeching to a boy.*' 

Lowell, Poems y 167. 
3 ** Bleeding and torn from Freedom's mountain bounds, 
A stained and shattered drum 
Is now the hive where, on their flowery rounds. 
The wild bees go and come." 
4 As now printed : — 

**From Treason's death we draw a purer life. 
As, from the beast he slew, 
A sweetness sweeter for his bitter strife 
The old-time athlete drew ! " 

[ 172 ] 

tion — that it repeats two very similar sounds. Each 
is the right word, probably the best word that can be 
found, yet the two together stuff the mouth with con- 
sonants — ds and ts — a little fuller than suits the ear. 

These are not my criticisms, but my hypercriti- 
cisms. I have a dyspeptic ear which often insists on 
liquids, where a better aural or acoustic digestion would 
like more solid substance. So do not mind the two 
trivial comments, which are not meant to detract any- 
thing from my verdict on the poem as a very beauti- 
ful and admirable one. 

I enclose you some verses * of my own which will 
appear in the next Atlantic, — until which time they 
are of course private — which you will read 1 know, 
and I hope like well enough in their way, but which 
you must not trouble yourself to acknowledge. 
Always faithfully yours, 

O. W. Holmes. 

^ ** Bonaparte, Aug. 15, 1769 — Humboldt, Sept. 14, 1769,'* 
dated at Boston, Sept. 14, 1869 ; in Atlantic, Nov., 1869. 

'To (a Quaker) 

Amesburyy 26, id Mo^ 1870. 
Dear Friend : 

Thy kind letter of unity and sympathy with my 

letter ' to the " Review " has been received. I wrote 

as I felt, and perhaps with some degree of plainness, 

but with no wish to censure or injure the feelings of 

those who differ from me. If I know myself, I would 

far rather endure wrong myself than inflict it on others. 

I do not and dare not set myself up as a rebuker of 

my brethren ; but I did feel as if it would be right 

to express my deep conviction that the standard of 

ancient Quakerism is the truth, and that nothing can 

be gained by departing from it. If our friends out West 

are doing good, I rejoice in it ; if men are brought to 

repentance and faith in our Divine Lord in Methodist 

or Calvinistic meetings, I am glad and thankful. But, 

for myself, unworthy as I feel that I am, I feel that 

my place is in the old paths ; I cannot walk freely in 

the new and I only ask that charity and forbearance, 

which I willingly accord to others who do not see as 

I do, but who are zealous and earnest in their labors. 

^ This, with another to the Friends Review y Whittier reprinted in 
his Prose Works , iii, 305, with this comment : — 

**The following letters were addressed to the Editor of the Friends 
Review in Philadelphia, in reference to certain changes of principle and 
practice in the Society then beginning to be observable, but which have 
since more than justified the writer's fears and solicitude." 

Colonel Higginson, Whittier , 121, says the best impression of 
Whittier* s relation with the Society of Friends is to be found in these 
two letters. 

[ 174 ] 

I would not for the world put any stumbling block 
in the way of others who feel that they are called in 
another direction. We must learn to bear with one 
another ; we have had too many separations already, 
and I hope I may be preserved from any act or word 
which can tend to division, or strife and hard feeling. I 
feel a strong assurance that our Society has yet a great 
work to do. I may not live to see it, but I rejoice in 
the hope. The present time is one of unrest and dis- 
quiet — but who knows but that the waters are troubled 
for our healing ? 

Some of us may have erred on the right hand, and 
some on the left ; and this shaking of the balance 
may adjust it. 

With love to thyself and wife, I am affectionately 
thy friend, 

John G. Whittier 

I had a sweet letter from dear, old Josiah Foster the 
other day. He is, 1 believe, 88 years old. 



" Copse Hilir Geo, R, Road, 

1 6 miles from Augusta, 

March 2yd, 1870. 
My Dear M? Whittier; 

I cannot resist the warm impulse which 

prompts me to thank you for your letter — so quaintly 

kind — which I have just rec? 

I am proud and glad to think that the little versified 
story of " Dophles" seems to have interested you, 
but the genial words you have written concerning my 
friend, my more than brother, Henry Timrod, have 
impressed me yet more profoundly. 

Indeed he was a man of exquisite and delicate 
genius, who after a comparatively short life of constant 
pain, privation, and suffering, was inexpressibly re- 
joiced to obey the call of the Master, and to pass 

" Beyond these voices there is peace ! " 

All his poems have been left in my hands, and 

» In replying to the charge of a Southern paper that he was an 
enemy of the South, Whittier once wrote to a friend: "I was never 
an enemy to the South or the holders of slaves. I inherited from my 
Quaker ancestry hatred of slavery, but not of slaveholders. To every 
call of suiFering or distress in the South I have promptly responded to 
the extent of my ability. I was one of the very first to recognize the 
rare gift of the Carolinian poet, Timrod, and I was the intimate friend 
of the lamented Paul H. Hayne, though both wrote fiery lyrics 
against the North. I am sure no one rejoices more heartily than I do 
at the prosperity of the Southern States.'* Pickard, Whittier, 502. 

[ 176] 

already I have his memoir (a very brief and simple 
one), prepared, together with his poems, as I am sure 
he would have liked them arranged; — but alas! for 
two years and upwards, my earnest efforts to procure 
a publisher. North and South, have wretchedly failed, 

I can only wait, and hope! ^ My disappointment is 
the sorer on this topic, because Timrod left an im- 
poverished family behind him, and I did trust it might 
be in my power to bring them something from the 
proceeds of his book. 

You have characterized his later poems with dis- 
criminating taste. Of course, you will comprehend that 
in his war verses etc., there is no real malignity. A 
kinder-hearted being never existed. 

Perceiving the interest you manifest in his works, 
I venture to enclose some memorial rhymes, which at 
least came spontaneously from the heart. I may have 
enclosed them previously, but I think not. A couple 
of other trifles accompany them. 

From the bottom of my soul I echo your wish that 
henceforth all jealousies, all unworthy prejudices may 
be annihilated, between North and South. 

As for Literature, it has no sections. Like God's 
beneficent sky, the fair world of Art is broad enough 
to comprehend and cover us all ! 

And thus, from these barren pine-woods, I, the 
humblest among our singers, can stretch forth warm 
hands of cordiality and love towards you — among 
our most illustrious — feeling sure that I shall meet 
with the electric touch of sympathy. 

The spring is just beginning to show her archly 

^ The Poems of Henry Timrod ; Edited, with a Sketch of the Poet's 
Life, by Paul H. Hayne. New York, E. J. Hale & Son, 1873. 

[ 177] 

beautiful face in our forests and gardens. From the 
latter I pluck a few violets, which please accept as 
emblems of good will and friendship, from yours 

Paul H. Hayne. 


^^ Copse Hiir' (near Augusta^ Geo.) 

April 22ndy 1870. 
My dear Sir: 

You are very kind in inviting me again. I 
thank you for it. And also, I must gratefully acknow- 
ledge the reception of your little volume " Among 
the Hills." There is a subdued beauty of thought 
and fancy in this book, a tenderness of sentiment, 
wedded to imagination which time and grief have evi- 
dently chastened, the general effect whereof is to the 
last degree, soothing and sweet. I have found it a con- 
soling work. The special poem from which your vol- 
ume takes its title, reminded me, from the metre 
chosen, of Wordsworth's celebrated Unes on " Yarrow 
Revisited." I 've compared the two pieces, and hon- 
estly, I prefer, greatly prefer, "Among the Hills." In 
the first place, the art of the latter is more complete, 
and it possesses a sounder body of thought. Regarded 
simply in a picturesque point of view, it is richer in 
coloring, and more suggestive. And running thro the 
simple narrative, like tangles of gold thro a silver 
woof, are such lines as, 

" For still in mutual sufferance lies 
The secret of true living ; 
Love scarce is love^ that never knows 
The sweetness of forgiving ! " ^ 

A deep truth, exquisitely embodied ! 

' *' Among the Hills," Poems, 89. 

C 179 ] 

Ah, dear sir, when the final shadows gather about 
us all, you ought gratefully and gladly to reflect that 
your poetry has been the means of teaching thousands 
of untutored hearts, of consoling the sufferer, and 
bringing light to the doubter; of in fact, purifying 
and elevating your fellow-creatures, as genuine poetry 
always ought to purify and elevate. A commonplace 
verity, perhaps, but are we not disposed now-a-days 
to forget it ? 

The Baudelaires, and Swinburnes, chanting the 
praises of Annihilation and the " Conqueror Worm," 
may be men of genius, and splendid imagination, but 
with all my heart, and soul, and strength, do I detest 
and abhor their abominable philosophy, and their 
apotheosis as it were, of the principle of decay, rot- 
tenness and corruption ! ! 

" Only the sleep eternal 
In an eternal night ! " 

is the refrain which seems to me to run thro all of 
Swinburne's verses, which magnificent as they are 
(artistically), depress and weigh down my spirit, when- 
ever I am tempted to read them. 

But I Ve no intention of beguiling you into a cor- 
respondence that might prove hurtful to your health ; 
therefore, with repeated thanks for your kindness and 
consideration, I remain, dear sir. 

Always faithfully 

Paul H. Hayne 


Washington^ \6th June *72. 
My dear Whittier: 

With gladness I welcome your friendly hand.' 

1 am at a loss to understand where my speech ^ is 
too severe. Mr. W. I. Bowditch calls it " forbearing." 
I intended it to be so. 

The President's conduct can be adequately pre- 
sented only in severe language. Since the Crime against 
Kansas, we have heard nothing like it. Such injustice 
to a people, and to individuals. Such heartlessness, 
such insensibility to the requirements of his post, such 
an evil example must be exposed. I should have been 
faithless, had I failed to do it. 

That people can hesitate to condemn such conduct 
attests the general demoralization, and the insensi- 
bility to virtue. But it is Party which does the mischief. 
As head of the Party he dictates and the multitude 
crouch. So it looks. 

Amidst these heats I long for the salt air which you 
breathe. Good bye 1 

Ever yours, 

Charles Sumner 

^ Whittier' s letter to Sumner, Appendix K, p. 282. 

2 The full title of the speech in the U. S. Senate, May 31, 1872, 
as given in Sumner's Worksy xv, 83-171, is: Republicanism vs. 
Grantism ; the Presidency a Trust, not a Plaything ; Personal Govern- 
ment and Presidential Pretensions ; Reform and Purity in Government. 


Washington^ iith^ Aug, '72. 

My dear Whittier : 

I have not read Mr. Garrison's letter/ Some 
one said it was unkind, and I made up my mind at 
once not to read it, and of course never to answer it. 
I never allowed myself to have controversy with him 
in other days, when we differed on methods, because 
I knew he was earnest against slavery. I shall join in 
no controversy now. 

Never have I acted more absolutely under the man- 
date of duty, not to be disobeyed, than in my present 
course. Profoundly convinced of Grant's unfitness, 
and feeling that a man like Greeley President, would 
make an epoch for humanity, I could not resist the 
opportunity, especially when Democrats took him as 
their candidate, and pledged themselves to all that is 
contained in the Cincinnati Platform. From the begin- 
ning, while insisting upon all possible securities and 
safeguards, I have pleaded for " reconciliaty This is 

^ Sumner had written a long letter urging the colored voters to sup- 
port Greeley as against Grant. This brought from Garrison a strong 
rejoinder on Grant's behalf. Whittier was then appealed to by a com- 
mittee of colored voters, who were perplexed by such contradictory 
advice from those whom they trusted. His reply, dated 9th mo. 3, 
1872 {Prose Worksy iii, 161), was not conclusive. He discussed the 
public services and the political affiliations of each candidate, but as 
to the choice between Grant and Greeley he said, '* I am willing, for 
one, to leave my colored fellow citizens to the unbiased exercise of 
their own judgment and interests in deciding between them." 

[ i8a ] 

the word which recurs constantly in my speeches. The 
South insisted that I was revengeful. Never. And now 
the time has come for her to show the mood in which I 
acted. This is a painful experience. But we are not 
choosers in this world. Certainly I did not choose 

I wish we could meet all this hot summer I have 
passed here, but expect to be in Boston Wednesday, 
God bless you ! 

Ever sincerely yours, 

Charles Sumn'er 


Pepperell House^ Kittery, 
Thursday morning before breakfast [1873]. 

Dear Friend : 

We had a glorious day yesterday, and wished 
you had been with us all the time, and yet we thought 
it might have been too much for your strength, and 
that after all, you were wisest, but you would so have 
enjoyed it ! 

In the first place, the Lord provided such a day ! 
perfectly regardless of expense, with mountains of deli- 
cate cloud piled in the blue of the north, and soft shift- 
ing films to draw delicious shadow, now and then, 
across the turquoise color of the quiet sea. And toward 
sunset all things grew golden in stillness, all the 
green of fields and woods so mellow, the glassy water 
took on tender rose, and presently out of the grey- 
purple of the east rolled up the full moon, like a great 
copper shield. And then the northern lights began, 
in banks of emerald light, that sent up changing 
streamers and hung out weird banners. Our cups were 
filled as full as they could hold; we were glad at last 
to close our eyes on beauty and lose the power of 
receiving another impression. 

We started about ten o'clock, while yet the dew 
sparkled, and drove though such woods and fields and 
flowers ! Annie [Fields] and I grew quite beside 
ourselves at last, and made Mr. Saffbrd get out and 
gather for us the exquisite sun-dew along the road- 

[ 184 ] 

side, and the pink fragrant arethusa that flushed the 
meadows and filled the air with its sweet breath. 

I can*t begin to tell you all we did, but about the 
middle of the day we found ourselves at a wonderful 
ancient house, almost at the edge of the sea ; such an 
exquisite place ! just opposite the Shoals. The house 
was two hundred and eighteen years old ; the old 
people were nice, charming and kind. We took our 
lunch there; we examined the cabinet of antique 
papers and the famous signatures. The old lady gave 
James T. [Fields] Sir W? Pepperell's signature, with 
which he was delighted. I couldn't tell you half the 
things we saw ! 

In the afternoon, we drove on to " Brave Boat 
Harbor." We stopped at the little grave yard close 
to the sea, where Sir Francis Champernoon sleeps 
under his pile of stones, with the roses breathing over 
him. Then I lay down in the sweet grass, the better 
to decipher this epitaph, wrung out of a suffering 

In this dark silent mansion of the dead 

A lovely mother and sweet babe are laid. 

Of every virtue of her sex possest, 

She charmed the world and made her husband blest. 

Of such a wife, O righteous heaven ! bereft, 

What joy for me, what joy on earth is left ? 

Still from my inmost soul the groans arise, 

Still flow the sorrows ceaseless from mine eyes. 

But why these sorrows so profusely shed ? 

They may add to, but cannot raise the dead. 

I soon shall follow that same dreary way 

That leads and opens to the coasts of day. 

Then clasp them both upon the happy shore. 

And bliss shall join, nor death shall part us more. 


" Mary Chauncy wife of Chas. Chauncy and daughter 
to the Hon. Richard Cutt, died April 23^^ 1758 in the 
24^^ year of her age (how young, poor thing !) with 
her infant son Charles Chauncy/' 

Well, there was a deal of sorrow in that little grave- 
yard a hundred and twenty years ago, or thereabouts. 
I suppose good Mr. Charles Chauncy got him an- 
other wife in the course of another year,' but his grief 
was none the less real then, and touches us now pro- 
foundly, speaking through a century's dust. 

Driving back, we went to see the Lady Pepperell's 
house, where Aunt Sally Cutts lives all alone, "a bent 
and blear-eyed poor old soul" indeed. The faded 
grandeur of the place was very impressive. I believe 
if Aunt Sally had been away, James T. [Fields] 
would have bought the place on the spot, and still 
think he may do so. We strayed into another grave 
yard close by, such a fascinating place ! The river 
running softly just below and a tangle of wild greenery 
above and all about. I took the epitaph from the 
grave of a woman whose body was picked up on the 
shore after ship-wreck: — 

I lost my life on the raging seas, 
A Sovreign God does as he please ! 
The Kittery friends they did appear, 
And my remains they buried here. 

Newcastle, Friday morning. We came here yesterday, 
and I parted from the Fields in the afternoon. What 

I Charles Chauncy (i 728-1 809) married, second, Joanna Ger- 
rish, JuJy i, 1760. They had twelve children and both died in the 
same year 1809, after a married life of forty-nine years. 

Fowler, Memorials of the Chaunceys (1858), 71. 

[ i86] 

a good time we have had together ! And now I cannot 
get away from these blessed people here, as I pro- 
posed, to-day, back to the Shoals, but must wait till 
to-morrow, lucky to get off then ! I long to be back 
again, though it is enchanting here,' more delicious 
than I can tell you, and these two united families 
with the little children are so happy here. Always, of 
course, they miss that beautiful creature who died 
this spring, Mr. Albee*s wife ; it gives a tender touch 
of pathos to all the beauty of every day. Last night 
my host drew me out of the vine-hung doorway to 
see the slow moonrise, directly in front of the house 
behind the Shoals. The glory grew and across the still 
water lay a golden path nearly to our feet. We talked 
softly of that dear vanished spirit. It does the poor 
lonely fellow so much good to speak a little. 

Will you not tell me how you got home ? I hope 
my letter won*t be tedious. Will you give it a wel- 
come, I wonder? Good bye. Much love to the girls. 

Ever truly, 

C. T. 

^ Jaifrey Cottage, Newcastle, N. H., the home of John Albee, 
author of History of Newcastle, Reminiscences of Emerson, and others, 
where at this time was also the family of Rev. James De Normandic, 
then of Portsmouth, now of Roxbury. 


August ay March igtb, 1874. 

My dear M' Whittier : 

And so, your friend' is dead ; gone — who can 
doubt it? — to "the land o* the leal ! " Some of M' 
Sumner's political acts have borne, we can't disguise 
this truth, terrible fruits of anarchy, disorganization, 
woe, and even bloodshed, here at the South ; but I 
am not so narrow minded as to fail in due respect for 
one, who whatever, in my humble view, might be his 
errors as a statesman, must, from all accounts, have 
been a sincere, generous-hearted, upright gentleman. 
One act even of his political life, is regarded by every 
impartial mind in this section as specially noble and 
magnanimous ; I refer to his effort to have erased from 
the regimental battle flags of the Northern soldiery, 
all inscriptions alluding to the fratricidal strifes of the 
past.* Yes ! that was a grand deed ; an action of Ro- 
man-like dignity and virtue ; and perhaps, it will stand 
clearly and brightly forth upon the records of the fu- 

» Sumner died March 11, 1874. 

* The resolution, introduced by Sumner in the U. S. Senate, Dec. 
18, 1872, declared that ** the names of battles with our fellow citi- 
zens shall not be continued in the army register, or placed upon the 
regimental colors of the United States." The General Court of Mas- 
sachusetts on the last day of a special session, called in consequence 
of the Boston Fire, passed a resolve declaring that " such legislation 
meets the unqualified condemnation of the people of this Common- 
wealth." Whittier undertook, the records show, to have this action 
reversed, and though he failed in 1873, he was successful in 1874.. 

[ i88 ] 

ture, when his speeches are but matter of traditiorij and 
the very place of his sepulture may furnish a theme 
for antiquarian speculation. 

Meanwhile, if the news of his decease has provoked 
some bitter, and most unseemly comments in South- 
ern journals, there can be no question that upon the 
whole, they have endeavored to be, at least, moderate, 
and to respect the wise antique proverb, " de mortuis 
nil nisi bonumJ' For the bitterness of a few, endeavor 
to find some excuse. 

Call upon the resources of your vivid imagination 
and " put yourself in these men's places." The point 
of view in such matters is everything. 

How lonely, after all, does Sumner's death appear. 
No loving wife near to wipe his clammy brow, and to 
receive his latest glances of trust and affection ; no 
children to reverently close his eyes ! Ah ! my friend ! 
what is mortal fame, compared with the unforced as- 
siduities of domestic attachment! We come into this 
world out of mystery and darkness ; we succeed in cre- 
ating a name, which oblivion (after a few years, more 
or less), effectually wipes out, or, at best, reduces to 
the echo of an echo ; " vox et preterea nihir'l And 
in making that name, perchance, the flowers of house- 
hold love refuse to bloom about our pathway, ■— and 
instead we gain what? — the "most sweet voices" of 
the "great unwashed "^ — the applause of creatures, 
who misunderstand our motives, and commend us 
where we hardly deserve commendation, abusing and 
reviling us, when we are purest, noblest, most self- 
sacrificing ! " A sorry world, my Masters ! " 

Among Mr. Sumner's pall bearers, I observe your 
name, and that of Emerson. By the way, in regard 

[ i89] 

to the latter, did you read the foul abuse of him, pub- 
lished in the "N Y. World," or "Tribune," this 
abuse being the substance of a communication from 
Swinburne ? 

Please tell Mr. Emerson, that but one feeling of 
intense disgust, has greeted the appearance of that in- 
famous letter. South, no less than North. 

Was ever such mean arrogance, such maudlin im- 
pudence, such colossal conceit obtruded before, upon 
the public view ? The miserable scamp ! Why his 
name ought to be spelt Swine-burn ! 

Were I a young man, a relative of Emerson's and 
near to this dog — I 'm afraid I should be tempted 
to thrash him within an inch of his filthy life. But, of 
course, the old philosopher will take no notice of such 
an assault ! 

I Ve just sent to " Old and New " a little poem de- 
dicated to yourself. I trust Hale may accept it. In 
that case, it will follow a similar poem to Longfellow.* 
Believe me always most 

Faithfully y'r friend 

Paul H. Hayne. 

» "H. W. Longfellow," by Paul H. Hayne, is in The Old and 
New, April, 1874; Edward Everett Hale was the editor. 


Nahant, Aug, 7, 1874. 
My dear Whittier: 

Will your love for Sumner and your regard for 
his memory, and the desire that nothing unworthy 
may be said of him, induce you to undertake his 
biography ? 

This is an abrupt question : but nothing of ur- 
gency can be added to it, except perhaps the sincere 
wishes of Ml; Balch, M.\ Pierce and myself that you 
would consent. 

Please take the matter into consideration, and see 
whether your health and other things permit. 
Always yours sincerely 

Henry W. Longfellow. 

* Sumner bequeathed to H. W. Longfellow, F. V. Balch, and 
E. L. Pierce, as trustees, *« all his papers, manuscripts and letter 
books, to do with them what they think best ; with power to destroy 
them, to deposit them in some public library, or to make extracts for 

Longfellow appreciated Sumner's purpose, for in April, directly after 
the probate of the will, he wrote, ** Who shall write the life of Sum- 
ner?'* (Samuel Longfellow, Longfellow, 211.) The life in four 
volumes was written by Edward L. Pierce, and the mass of letters, 
170 volumes, was deposited by Mr. Pierce's family in the Library 
of Harvard College. 


Friend Whittier: 

In deference to your well-known aversion to 
all public display, the annoyance of a reception at 
home in honor of your seventieth birth-day, is spared 
you. Yet we trust it will not be unpleasant for you to 
receive from your personal friends and fellow towns- 
men in this more quiet way an expression of our high 
appreciation and warm affection. 

While the sons and daughters of song bringing their 
tribute of admiration to Genius, delight to lay their 
crown upon the head of the Poet ; we, who believe that 
none could wear it more royally, knowing your heart, 
rejoice to pay our tribute to Goodness, to greet the 
man we love, our Brother, whose lustrous character has 
made you our -first and most honored citizen. The 
warm interest you have taken in every good work, the 
wise counsel you have given, and kindly affection for 
all, have made you dear to us ; and the genial humor 
of your conversation has been to our hearts the oil of 
gladness. The beauty of a life pure and true, a life 

^ Whittier' s reply was printed in the Salisbury and Amesbury Mills 
Villager yY>^Q. 27, 1877. ** . . . Circumstances may make our inter- 
course somewhat less constant and familiar than in former years, but your 
interests and welfare are mine; there is not a face among you that I shall 
not always be glad to see; not a rod of soil on the Merrimac or the 
Powow that I shall not be happy to retrace; and about my hearth-fire 
in the old house on Friend Street I shall still hope often to meet you, 
as long as Providence, which has spared me hitherto, shall prolong my 
days. . . r 

[ 192 ] 

consecrated to high and holy aims, has been to us a 
continual inspiration to better things, and we believe 
its sweet influence will continue to be a benediction to 
the race. 

The example you have given us, of a courage not 
less fiery than that of the ancient prophets, of a fidel- 
ity to principle not less conspicuous than that of the 
martyrs, of a loyalty to conscience unexcelled in any 
generation, and withal of a sweetness of soul whose 
overflow has been a continuous blessing, — the ex- 
ample which you have given us, be assured we shall 
account an inheritance to be treasured as precious 
above estimation, and to be transmitted to our chil- 
dren's children. For this we love and honor you. 

It is a joy for us to think that of late your face and 
form have been growing younger; that your troops 
of friends may greet you as one whose undaunted 
spirit is more than a match for time. Accept our warm 
assurance that our homes will be the happier the 
oftener you may find it possible to gladden them by 
your presence. May the day be far in the future when 
you shall wish to change your home among us for the 
house not made with hands ! And may the Muses 
that have so long attended upon your bidding, and 
sung so cheerily by your fireside, continue to beguile 
your lengthening days until your ear grows aweary and 
hungers for diviner songs ! Believe us, truly and sin- 
cerely yours, 

George W. Morrill George Turner 

J. R. Huntington John Hume 

Horace H. Currier J. H. Osborne 

James W. Briggs Aaron Sawyer 

M. D. F. Steere O. S. Baley 

C 193 ] 

W. H. B. Currier 
Isaac Barnard 
J. A. Perkins 
Pliny S. Boyd 
Geo. W. Gate 
Geo. F. Bagley 

Jos. T. Clarkson 
D. L. Bartlett 
G. Cammett 
C. Cammett 
Samuel Hoyt, prc. 

Amesbury^ Dec. 17, 1877. 

To John Greenleaf Whittier. 


Florence, 12, 16, ^yy. 
My dear Friend: 

I feel quite unwilling to let the accompanying 

missive from our Sunday School go on its way to you, 

^ Charles C. Burleigh ( 1 8 1 o-i 878 ) entered the anti-slavery work 
at the request of Samuel J. May, abandoning the practice of the law 
for which he had studied and passed a brilliant examination. After 
a varied career he settled in Florence, Mass., where for the last ten 
years of his life he was «*the resident speaker of the Free Congrega- 
tional Society of Florence." 

** As a logical thinker and an eloquent public speaker Charles C. 
Burleigh probably surpassed any one that ever lived in Northampton. 
Few men anywhere could so readily and ably extemporize in a pub- 
lic speech as that brave champion of civil and religious liberty. Some 
of his most brilliant and effective speeches were made on the spur of 
the moment. In discussing any question he was noted for stating the 
strongest points of his opponents, and effectually answering them, so 
that nothing more could be said. The arguments on both sides would 
be exhausted. His diction was clear and finished. . . . 

*« Once while speaking in an anti-slavery meeting, a bad egg, hurled 
by an enemy, struck Burleigh on the forehead. Coolly wiping his brow, 
he said, * I always thought that pro-slavery arguments were un- 
sound.' . . . 

<* He was tall and his frame bore the impress of great physical strength 
and endurance. Of no one could it be more truthfully said that he had 
the courage of his convictions. What he deemed proper to do, whether 
in matters of dress, of personal appearance and habits, or in regard to 
political, social, or religious concerns, he unhesitatingly carried out, 
however strange his course might appear to those with whom he came 
in contact. I remember his wearing a full beard, long before such a 
practice was considered becoming or proper." 

Charles C. Burleigh, by Seth Hunt, in Sheffield, History of Flor- 
ence, 211. 

[ 195] 

without a word from myself individually, on this oc- 
casion which has called out expressions from so many 
of your literary and other acquaintances and friends. 
The address of our school, unanimously adopted this 
morning, speaks, of course, the thoughts and feelings 
which 1 share with my fellow-members of the school, 
but many thoughts and memories are called up in my 
mind by the occasion, which they cannot share with 
me. On reading the address you will perhaps suspect, 
what is the fact, that the duty of preparing it was as- 
signed by my associates to me. I tried to make it speak 
what I believed to be their thoughts and feelings, so 
far as their knowledge of you, through your writings 
or otherwise supplied them ; and the evidently hearty 
acceptance of my work, when submitted to them, con- 
firms my belief I need not tell you how heartily I 
share in the rejoicing of your friends, both those who 
have publicly voiced it, and I doubt not many more 
than these, who have not done so, that you have been 
permitted to reach the end of your seventieth year, 
retaining still the intellectual vigor and vivacity of ear- 
lier manhood, and, I hope, at least as good a condi- 
tion of bodily health as when I saw you last, though 
that, indeed, to my regret, is not altogether what we 
could wish, who love you and desire your long con- 
tinuance with us. 

Called now as I am to think of you as what in our 
early days we should have regarded as " an old man " 
— though our estimate of age may have become some- 
what modified by the passing years — my mind runs 
back to the days of our first acquaintance, and to our 
labors together in the good old " cause **; and thence 
it ranges over the intermediate years, and gathers 

[ 196 ] 

thronging reminiscences in its course. Philadelphia, 
especially, and the old Anti-Slavery Office there, and 
Joseph Healy's boarding-house rise vividly before 
me, and with them come our fellowboarders there, 
every one of whom has already gone before us to the 
other side of the river, leaving many precious memo- 
ries behind them. Then too come, crowding in, the 
wonderful changes we have witnessed, so other than 
anything we had expected within our earthly life-time ; 
till it almost seems as if I were living another life, the 
occupant of another world. But still that former life 
and world are very well-defined objects of present con- 
templation ; and your place in relation to them is very 
distinctly imaged to my mind. The afternoon which, 
at a later period, I passed with you in Amesbury, hav- 
ing walked down from Haverhill for the purpose, is 
also a bright page of my reminiscences. 

I have the satisfaction, too, not only of keeping you 
in fresh remembrance for myself, but of helping a good 
many to know or remember something about you. 
For, as in the early days of the Anti-Slavery struggle, 
before your pieces, or any considerable number of 
them, were gathered into volumes, I used to make a 
sort of claim to be your publisher, because, as your 
pieces came out in the papers, I was wont to commit 
them to memory and recite them in my lectures, and 
in social gatherings at which I was present, so now I 
have in a measure gone back to the old custom, and 
introduced you, by public recitation, to a circle of 
younger hearers, who seem to listen with lively pleas- 
ure; sometimes an old veteran calls for some poem 
which had delighted him a quarter of a century ago or 

[ 197 ] 

It is true that the occupations of the passing days 
do not allow a very large proportion of the time for 
this delightful living in the past, but I do think so 
much of it as can be spent thus, is by no means lost 
time, even if mere delight did not redeem it from loss. 
It seems to me highly desirable, as a part of the train- 
ing of the younger generation, that 

" Here should the child of after years be taught," 
(and these are the "after years " referred to, you know,) 

" The works of Freedom which his fathers wrought ; 
Told of the trials of the present hour, (now past,) 
Our weary strife with prejudice and power ; 
How the high errand quickened woman's soul, 
And touched her lips, as with a living coal ; 
How Freedom's martyrs kept their lofty faith 
True and unwavering, unto bonds and death." ' 

By the way, how freshly rises to my view, today, the 
time when I first read those lines in public, to the gath- 
ered multitude in the Pennsylvania Hall ; so soon 
thereafter a heap of ashes and blackened brands. Nor 
do I forget our gathering at the ruins, to make a reg- 
ular adjournment to another place, that the continuity 
of our meeting might not be broken ; nor yet the task 

' From the close of "Pennsylvania Hall," Poems , 279. Whit- 
tier's prefatory note says the poem was **read at the dedication of 
Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, May 15, 1838. The building w^as 
erected by an association of gentlemen, irrespective of sect or party, 
* that the citizens of Philadelphia should possess a room wherein the 
principles of Liberty, and Equality of Civil Rights, could be freely 
discussed, and the evils of slavery fearlessly portrayed. ' On the even- 
ing of the 1 7th it was burned by a mob, destroying the office of the 
Pennsylvania Freemany of which I was editor, and with it my books 
and papers." 

C 198 ] 

assigned to you, brother William and myself, to pre- 
pare an address to the people of the State, in relation 
to the burning of the Hall. But my pen will run away 
with me, if I suffer it follow the track of these memo- 
ries, in which you hold so large a place ; and I will 
constrain myself to stop. 

I have yet room on the page' to say, at this close 
of your seventy years, so rich in noble and beneficent 
work, and, I cannot doubt, in high enjoyment also, 
spite of sorrows deeper than stranger's eye can fathom, 
not as is often said, and as it is the heart's first prompt- 
ing to say, " God bless you "; but as our old friend, 
N. P. Rogers, correcting his own first utterance, once 
said to me, as we were parting, '' God blesses you." 
For truly He blesses you, with these ripe years, with 
this continued ability to work, with the just apprecia- 
tion your work has won, with the child's faith in his 
love and care, which grasps his hand in every dark 
passage you must traverse, and catches the fatherly 
radiance of his face whenever you emerge into the 
light. So let my vale be, God blesses you. Very truly, 
your friend and comrade, 

C. C. Burleigh. 

^ This entire letter was written on but a half sheet of note paper, 
and yet in a legible hand. 


January lotb, 1878. 
My dear Friend: 

I received your letter of the 29^^ ult. in due 

season, and Ineed not say how truly your kind words 

gratified me. 

It is indeed pleasant to learn that so very humble 
a tribute as mine in the " Literary World " ' should 
have so deeply touched you. I am more than rewarded. 

Apropos of the "World," I have just read your own 
poem "" in answer to your friends, and honestly, it seems 

^ The December, 1877, number of the Boston Literary World vfzi 
dedicated to Whittier and contained many tributes, both prose and verse, 
on his seventieth birthday. Hayne contributed the follow^ing : — 


** From this far realm of Pines I waft thee now 
A Brother's greeting. Poet, tried and true ; 
So thick the laurels on thy reverend brow 

We scarce can see the white locks gUmmering through. 
** O, pure of thought! Earnest in heart as pen. 
The tests of time have left thee undefiled ; 
And o'er the snows of threescore years and ten 
Shines the unsullied aureole of a child." 

^ ''Response," written in acknowledgment of the many messages 
on Whittier' s seventieth birthday : — 

"Beside that milestone where the level sun. 
Nigh unto setting, sheds his last, low rays 
On word and work irrevocably done. 
Life's blending threads of good and ill out-spun, 

I hear, O friends, your words of cheer and praise. 
Half doubtful if myself or otherwise. . . ." 

Poemsy 409. 

[ aoo ] 

to me perfect ! There are in it, a delicacy, grace, feel- 
ing and true manliness, embodied in language equally- 
terse and vigorous, which altogether render it a quite 
remarkable little poem. How much more can be con- 
veyed in a half dozen poetic lines, managed as you 
manage them, than in pages of ordinary prose ! 

You " trust that the several sections are beginning 
to understand each other better ! " Candidly, I believe 
they are, and this the work of reconciliation would ad- 
vance "toward the perfect day," were it not for one 
ugly element of discord; I mean, the disgraceful efforts 
of such men as Conkling, Blaine, Chandler, et id omne 
genus ^ who seem determined to re-open old, fast-healing 
wounds, and to " set the two sections by the ears again ! " 

But I hope, nay I believe that they cannot succeed. 
Pres. Hayes seems firm enough, and the Southern 
people cannot but regard him kindly and with confi- 
dence, since his conduct towards Louisiana, and my 
recently forlorn and prostrate State, South Carolina. 
It was his plain duty under the laws of the Constitu- 
tion and the laws of humanity, to free those States from 
the grasp of savages and aliens, but so seldom has duty 
been performed of late years by those in " high places," 
that when Pres. Hayes manfully performed his, our 
people were actually bewildered; they could not credit 
the evidence of their senses. Then came a great joy, 
which has settled down into a sentiment of quiet grati- 
tude towards him who refused to sanction any longer 
a monstrous crime. 

It distresses me to learn of your continued ill health. 
Come South if you possibly can. Such a change might 
prolong your invaluable life. Should you visit our 
locale^ of course, my home will be yours. A very hum- 

[ 20I ] 

ble home; but I wouldn't feel embarrassed in wel- 
coming you ; for I know how simple your habits are. 
My wife most cordially joins in this invitation. 

You say that you hope " I am well paid for my 
poems." I rec'! e.g. $50.°° for the poem just out in 
" Scribner." * This is by far the largest sum I have 
ever got for any poem. For shorter pieces I receive 
from 5 and 8 to 10 dollars. I labor under the disad- 
vantage of being far removed from the centres of lit- 
erary activity, can make no personal bargains, and 
receive less than Northern writers. 

You, M' Whittier, are the only Northern littera- 
teur who has ever done me the honor of placing my 
poems in a published collection of verse.^ 

I have answered your questions very frankly as I 
know you meant me to do. 

When your health permits, please write to me. I 
am a very lonely man, lost in these vast pine woods, 
with not one sympathetic companion outside my im- 
mediate family. 

Ever most faithfully 

Paul H. Hayne. 

Did " Unveiled '* in " Scribner " please you ? You '11 
tell me frankly if it did not. 

' ** Unveiled," dedicated to W. C. Bryant, Scribner'' s Magazine, 
Jan., 1878. 

2 Whittier included in Songs of Three Centuries y which he edited 
in 1876, two of Hayne's poems, ** Pre-Existence " and ** From the 


" Copse Hill,'' Georgia Rail Road, 
February '^tb, 1878. 

My venerated Friend : 

I deeply appreciate the kindness of yours of 
the i"".^ inst. 

'T is encouraging to learn that the Simms " Monody " 
struck you so favorably, and that " Unveiled " you 
deem " excellent." Both the poems have won a marked 
success. Bryant has earnestly commended them, and 
Stedman, writing me from New York, alludes to these 
" Odes " in a manner I cannot forget. You know how 
very subtle and aesthetic a critic Stedman is ? 

Your offer of helping me to a place under Govern- 
ment in Carolina or Georgia is pre-eminently char- 
acteristic, my friend, of your genial nature, and true 
sympathies. I do not feel your kindness one whit the 
less, because in this case I cannot avail myself of it. 
The truth is that my health needs absolutely the air 
and quiet of the country. Were I once to be " ca- 
binned, cribbed, confined " in any town office, a very 
few months would consign me to the grave ! But 
thanks, a thousand times, for your suggestion ! 

There is however, I have been thinking, another 
mode in which either Mr. Bryant, or Mr. Longfellow 
or yourself might do me an inestimable service. I say 
" might do," for of course I cannot tell how far your 
powers or his may extend in the direction I am about 
to specify. 

[ 203 ] 

The position of a Southern poet in this country, is 
sadly anomalous. To you, I may say, just as if I 
were addressing my own father, and without fear of 
miscomprehension, that anything harder, more terri- 
bly exacting, than the 20 years of labor by which I have 
gained my present literary position (however humble) 
it would be impossible to conceive ! Now, I have 
reached my 47^^ year ; and have on hand a mass of 
poems, many of them the best I ever composed, and 
all of a miscellaneous character, quite eno' to fill a 
duodecimo vol. of 100, or 150 pages, and yet, I feel 
sure that I could not obtain a publisher. I mean a 
publisher who would adventure even a small edition at 
his own risk.' Feeling (let me say this to you in sa- 
cred confidence), that my life-term draws towards its 
close, and naturally desirous to put myself once more 
on record, I would give much to print the lyrics re- 
ferred to; but without some influence such as North- 
ern author could give, it is out of the question ! As 
previously intimated, no such influence may rest with 
you, or Mr. Bryant, or Mr. Longfellow ; but if it 
really should be in your power or their's, to help me to 
a publisher, I think you will not fail me. I would beg 
you to accept the dedication of the volume to be called 
simply " Muscadines'* from the ist poem in it. 

There is yet another topic, upon which at my aged 
mother's special request, I desire to consult you. My 
mother now in her 71'^ year, is the widow of a U. S. 
Naval officer. When as far back as September 1832, 
my father Lieut. Paul H. Hayne, died of yellow 
fever at Pensacola (Fla.) while in active service aboard 

^ Hayne' s Poems were published, with a biographical sketch by- 
Margaret J. Preston, by D. Lothrop & Company, Boston, 1882. 

[ 204 ] 

the U. S. ship " Vincennes," my mother, being then 
in easy circumstances as to fortune, never thought of 
applying to Government for the " pension," which, of 
course, was her due. Years passed ; the Confederate 
war came, and stripped her, and us, of almost every- 
thing. Even now we can just manage to live. Don't 
you think (if the circumstances were known at Wash- 
ington) the old lady might secure this "pension." 
Several times under Grant's administration we made 
an effort to bring the claim to the notice of those in 
power, by employing an agent, but did not succeed. 
The claim is now on file in the proper Department. 
Would you advise me to push it? 

Tho' you cannot travel now, surely it may be pos- 
sible for you to "flit Southward" towards the Spring? 
If so, our home, and hearts are open to you always. 
My wife says, she will make " Copse Hill " as comfort- 
able for you as possible, and that the " bonny brown 
hand " shall be gladly employed in your service. We 
are the simplest, the least conventional people on earth ; 
and be assured that you will be made to feel as much 
almost at ease as if in your own special domicile in 
Amesbury or Danvers. 

From M? Timrod I have heard nothing directly for 
a long time. But some weeks since, the papers spoke 
of her as out of employment, and seeking a clerkship 
in Washington. I have written her frequently, but 
elicited no answer. I am puzzled. 

You ask how it is that I am an " exile " from my 
beloved State, Carolina. Our house in Charleston was 
destroyed by the bursting of a bomb-shell, (which 
created a large fire, sweeping the entire square). There 
and then the larger portion of my library, a very rare 

[ 20S ] 

one, perished. Again, Sherman passing thro Colum- 
bia, or his troops, took from us silver and plate, much 
of it old family plate, valued at 1 10,000. The banks, 
as you know, all broke, so that we lost our whole pro- 
perty, excepting a very few hundreds. My family were 
refugees in Georgia, when the war closed, and I (not 
being able to get any other work) took charge of the 
local department of the "Augusta Constitutionalist.*' 
In 8 months, the work (night work much of it ! ) broke 
me down completely ! With a few hundreds, hardly 
scraped together, I purchased my present humble home 
in the woods, and took charge of Pollard's weekly, 
"Southern Opinion," issued in Richmond, as literary 
editor. He died, owing me nearly all my salary, of 
which I have never since rec'^ a solitary cent ! Since, I 
have "eked out" a subsistence by composing essays, 
sketches, tales, poems, etc. etc. During the entire year 
of 1876, I suffered from repeated hemorrhages (as 
often as two or three times a week) and have never 
perfectly or radically recovered. Now, you have my 
history ! I don't apologize for my perfect candor, 
nor the apparent egotism of all this. You compre- 
hend me ! God be with you ! and believe that you have 
no truer friend, than 

Yours ever faithfully 

Paul H. Hayne. 

P. S. Won't you think very seriously of coming 
South in the Spring ? You would never regret it. 

ro — 

Banvers.^th Mo. 5, 1878. 
My dear Friend : 

I am liable to be called to Amesbury and New- 

buryport any day next week : and I could not fix a 

day for the call. But I am afraid it is not a good thing 

for thee to publish a book of poems now, even if a 

publisher could be found, which is not probable in the 

depressed state of business. Try to get in the verse in 

some of the literary reviews or papers first. I did not 

venture to offer my verse to a publisher until I was 

forty years old, and even then, the profit in money or 

reputation was small. 

I think thee have natural gifts and the enthusiasm 
which makes one capable of much ; but we must all 
submit to our limitations, and we cannot always do as 
we could wish. It is safest not to contend with what 
is inevitable. God leads us by ways we do not choose, 
often sadly against our wills, but, in the end, it will be 
seen that he led wisely. 

My health is such that I cannot write or study 
without pain. This must excuse this brief letter. 

Thy friend, 

John G. Whittier. 


Wayland, Oct, ic^th, 1878. 
Dear Friend Whittier : 

I thank you heartily for your little volume of 
poems, and the kindly written words which accom- 
panied them. The poems, like all you write, are redo- 
lent of Nature's fragrance, and full of balm for wounded 
hearts. The thoughts that breathe through the music 
of your rhymes have been full of healing and of 
strength for many souls. 

A few weeks ago, I went to see our friend, Ange- 
lina Grimke Weld, after a separation of forty years. I 
was sorry I went. She did not know me, and I should 
not have recognized her without an introduction. 
We had better have remained in each other's memory 
as we were in the days of youthful strength and cour- 
age. Ever since our sad meeting, I have been troubled 
with the thought: — Will the dear ones from whom 
we parted here, seem so strange when we meet again 
in the unknown world? On that subject, I am dis- 
turbed with continual unrest. I care nothing about a 
continued existence, except as a renewal of the bonds 
affection had woven here. And when they precede us 
for many years, and live in a world whose laws are 
totally unlike our own, how far away their spirits must 
get from ours ! That it is not so, we have no proof; 
unless the weird phenomena of "Spiritualism" be 
taken as evidence. And those phenomena, though in- 
explicable by any laws now understood, are as fantastic 

[ 2o8 ]. 

and unreliable as dreams ; which also are inexplicable 
by any known laws. 

Alas, the curtain falls so heavily, and is so impene- 
trable ! Only a narrow gleam at the edges shows that 
there is not darkness on the other side. 

I was sorry not to see you at Melrose. Early in 
November I expect to go to Boston for the winter, 
and before the season is over I hope we may meet 
some time at our dear, good friends, the Sewalls. 

You have always been a blessing to my soul, and I 
love you truly. 

Your affectionate old friend 

L. Maria Child. 


Wayland, June i^tb 1879 

Dear Friend Whittier : 

My spirit has been with yours a great deal, 
during all the circumstances attendant upon the de- 
cease of our honored friend, Garrison. To you and I, 
who lived in the midst of the obloquy and persecu- 
tion that were heaped upon him without measure, the 
revolution in public sentiment, indicated by the uni- 
versal laudation, seems wonderful indeed. And how 
cheering it is ! How full of encouragement concerning 
the future progress of the human race ! If so much 
could be accomplished, in one generation, by a few 
brave souls, against such formidable odds, what mar- 
vellous changes may be wrought in the course of many 
generations, each one throwing increasing light on the 
path-way of its successor ! 

The newspaper tributes were interesting and cheer- 
ing, as indications of a healthy change in public senti- 
ment; but the heartfelt tributes to our friend's memory 
were beautiful, in their simple truthfulness and genuine 
feeling, to a degree that thrilled the souls of listeners 
and readers; yours, and Phillips's, and Weld's. No 
marble mausoleum inlaid with precious stones, and 
embowered in blossoms, could have formed a monu- 
ment so beautiful. I was glad to see that you recog- 
nized his faith, and indicated your own, in implying 
the continued and active agency of his spirit. How 
could such a spirit die ? I wish he could tell us some- 
thing about it, in a way we could trust. 

[ 2IO ] 

But, assuredly, my friend there is no such thing as 
death. The whole universe is a marvellous evolution 
of ever changing forms. And if the naked gibbering 
savage has gradually become an Emerson, a Whittier, 
a Garrison, why should not they evolve into seraphs, 
with immensely larger powers, acting under laws as 
different from those that regulate our earth, as air is 
from water ? Assuredly, there is no death. And, after 
all, are we not all ghosts, who for a brief time appear 
to traverse a small segment of space, and then vanish, 
we know not whither? It is only the commonness of 
our apparition and our departure that prevents it from 
seeming miraculous. 

I wonder what lesson that Pocasset tragedy ' teaches 
to your mind. To my mind, it is the legitimate result 
of long established theological doctrines ; and a strik- 
ing proof of the absurdity and danger of taking the 
history of a semi-barbarous people as an inspired 
rule for life in the 19th century. Clergymen eulogize 
Abraham for his readiness to sacrifice his son; and 
they praise God for doing the same thing, because 
blood was necessary for the atonement of sin ; and 
then they blame Freeman for following such sublime 

^ In May, 1879, one Freeman, a farmer at Pocasset, Mass., took 
the life of his three-year-old daughter, being deranged and brooding 
on the story of Abraham and Isaac. 

Whittier wrote in reply to this letter : "... I trust with thee 
that the wretched Pocasset horror will teach all honest expounders the 
folly and danger of going back to the stone age for models of right liv- 
ing. I am shocked by the barbarism and superstition of our popular 
faith. There needs another George Fox, with broader vision, to call 
men from the death of the letter to the life of the spirit, and to tread 
under foot the ghastly and bloody materialism which survives among 
us. . . ." — Pickard, Whittier, 650. 


examples. What glowing inconsistency ! All the ortho- 
dox preachers ought to be indicted as accomplices 
before the murder. 

May our Heavenly Father bless you, dear friend ! 
I love you very sincerely. Your old friend 

L. Maria Child. 

I enclose a translation, hoping the spirit will move 
you to transpose it into the flowing melody of your 


Danvers, ()th "jth mo, 1879. 
Dear H. H. C. 

I was glad to get thy two postals. The terrible 
weather of the 4^*", and the abrupt change to cold has 
been hard to me : and I am afraid still harder for 
thee. We have had no warm weather; it is a lost art; 
only hot and cold : tropic and arctic. 

I have been to see the old homestead at Haverhill. 
It has fallen into the hands of one of my old neighbors 
— a Mr. Geo. Elliott, who is a retired shoe manufac- 
turer. He has cleaned up round the house and clap- 
boarded it and painted it on the outside, and mended 
the barn, so it looks pretty well. The inside is not 
yet altered very much. The clearing of the kitchen 
will be a task like that of Hercules and the Augean 

It made me feel strange to walk over the old place 
and sit by the brook and look at the old house ; could 
it be that I was the same person who sixty years be- 
fore had been setting water wheels in the brook, and 
hunting eggs in the barn ! Job's Hill that I thought 
a mountain, had dwindled into a mere hill. And 
where were Father and Mother, Uncle, Aunt and 
sisters ? What a dream is life ? Here I am left a few 
days more, waiting for the end of it, yet with the 
feeling that what is called the end is but the open- 

* Horace H. Currier, a lawyer and an old and dear friend of Whit- 
tier, died within a few weeks after this letter was written. 

[ 213 ] 

ing of a new life beyond. God be merciful to us 

I presume by this time you have more boarders. 
Shall I send a check for board ? Let me know if it 
is not too hard for thee to write, how thee are and 
if there is anything I can do for thee. 

All send a great deal of love to thee. 

John G. Whittier 
My regards to Celeste. 


Beverly Farms^ Mass. Sept, "jth 1879. 
My dear Whittier : 

Among the many kind tokens of remembrance 
which greeted my seventieth birthday, hardly any has 
touched and gratified me so much as your letter. 
Since the iron gate has closed behind me and I look 
upon our little group ' — the three who are abreast of 
me, or only a step or two in advance, — with whom 
I have been singing more or less melodiously for half 
a century, naturally enough they seem nearer to me 
than ever before. You know how Kings and Queens 
in their exalted loneliness and social isolation always 
address each other as Brother and Sister. So, having 
gained this lonely summit of seventy years, which 
looks down a swift declivity, — I would write to you, 
to Emerson, to Longfellow, if I felt that I had the right 
to use the term. We have all taken our degrees in the 

^ Whittier wrote Holmes, 12 mo, 17, 1879 • "^ ^^^e often, 
since I met thee in Boston, thought of thy remark that we four singers 
seem to be isolated — set apart as it were — in lonely companionship, 
garlanded as if for sacrifice, the world about us waiting to see who first 
shall falter in his song, who first shall pass out of the sunshine into the 
great shadow. There is something pathetic in it all. I feel like clasp- 
ing closer the hands of my companions. I realize more and more that 
fame and notoriety can avail little in our situation ; that love is the one 
essential thing, always welcome, outliving time and change, and going 
with us into the unguessed possibilities of death. There is nothing so 
sweet in the old Bible as the declaration that ' God is love.' ** 

Pickard, Whittier y 655. 


"finishing" school of life. I believe we all have the 
kindliness and the hopefulness which wholesome age 
ought to bring with it. I know for myself that I feel 
an inexpressible tenderness to all of you three with 
whom I am floating on the last of the planks of which 
the raft of life is constructed. We all feel the cool 
evening wind in our faces, but I am sure it does not 
chill our hearts. 

As for yourself, you must pardon me for saying 
that I confess a reverence as well as admiration in 
looking back over your noble career. And so you 
may well believe that every kind word you have ever 
spoken to me, went to my heart and made me hap- 
pier — I hope better. 

What can I do now more fitting than repeat your 
own benediction. 

May God bless you, my Brother, and may we meet 
oftener in the world where seasons are not counted, 
than we have met during these earthly lives of three 
score years and ten. 

Affectionately Yours, 

Oliver Wendell Holmes. 


71, TVest Sl 
New Torky Bee, 11st, 1879. 

Dear Mr. Whittier : 

One of the chief objects which I had in mind, 
when I made an effort to be present at the breakfast 
to Dr. Holmes/ was to avail myself of that chance to 
meet you, whose birthday festival I was unable to 
participate in. For it has been one of the regrets of 
my life that I have not met the poet whom I have 
loved and honored from boyhood, and whose verse, 
years ago, gave me unfailing hope and purpose when 
I dreamed of yet doing some good work in life, or 
meditated upon the use and nobleness of the poet's 
art in the movement of this workaday world. 

Well : you were at the gathering, and I failed to see 
you, and did not know that you were a guest, until 
Mr. Houghton told us that you had left the room. 
When I realized that my chance had passed, my regret 
was so earnest that I could not greatly enjoy the re- 
mainder of the festival. 

But I hope, and mean, yet to see you in person, if 
I have to make a day's pilgrimage to the town which 
is your home. 

Meanwhile, I hope that the purpose of this letter 

I <* Given by the publishers of The Atlantic Monthly in honor of 
the contributor who, more than any other one man, had caused its 
prosperity, who had been to it the life blood racing through its veins.'* 

Morse, Holmes , ii, 43. 

Zyi) C^<i)U(AMS/^£^ 

[ 217 ] 

will not be a cause of embarrassment to you, and that 
if I have committed a fault in any wise, your good 
and kind heart will at once implore you to forgive me. 
Last month a selection from my own poems was 
brought out in England, a volume of which I send 
you by mail, the first copy which I have received. In 
asking myself to whom, of all others, I should prefer 
to inscribe this — the most careful — edition of my 
poems, published across the seas, my thoughts at once 
went back to you, and I ventured to begin the vol- 
ume with the blank verse which I wrote when you 
completed your seventieth year.' 

In telling John Bright that I should do this, my 
American and New England heart swelled with honest 
pride when I heard him break out in a eulogy to your 
honor, so full of true appreciation, of knowledge of 
your writings and your personal career, that I could not 
have doubted its sincerity, even if it had come from a 
less loyal and truthful, or less noble and heroic source. 

Forgive the length and awkwardness of this letter, 
and believe me, dear Mr. Whittier, most earnest in 
my wishes that your years may be long in the land 
that claims you as the most deserving and the best- 
beloved of her lyric poets. 

With much respect. 

Very truly your friend, 

Edmund C. Stedman. 

^ Whittier acknowledged the gift, 12th mo, 31, 1879. "I have 
been looking over thy beautiful volume. . . . Indeed, if thee never 
write another stanza, thy place is assured in American literature, as the 
worthy successor of Bryant. There is one poem in thy volume which 
has the stamp of immortality upon it. * The Discoverer * has always 
seemed to me one of the most striking and powerfully suggestive poems 
of our time.'' — Pickard, Whittier, 656. 


Oak Knoll^ Danvers^ Mass. 

2nd Mo, II, 1880. 
Hon. Tho^ F. Bayard : 

I have read with great satisfaction thy views on 
the important question of the Currency. I always be- 
lieved that the Greenback and Inflation folly was but 
temporary, and that the nobler second thought of the 
people would set the matter right. The faithfulness 
with which thou hast maintained thy views against 
what seemed at one time the prevailing drift of the 
Democratic party, is, in the highest degree, honorable 
and praiseworthy. 

And here let me thank thee for the kind reference 
to myself in thy speech on the Appropriation Bill. 
A Quaker and an Abolitionist, I have been all my 
life opposed to slavery. That is now a thing of the 
past, and ever since the war I have ardently desired to 
see the two sections of the Union united in peace and 
harmony. I cordially endorsed the speech of my friend 
Gen. Bartlett. At the same time, 1 could, and can, but 
insist that the people of color, whose conduct during 
the war should entitle them to the grateful consider- 
ation of their former masters, should be protected in 
their civil rights. A different and kindly treatment of 
these people, at the South, would unquestionably have 
secured their votes to a great extent for the candidates 
representing their former masters, long before this. 
With sentiments of respect I am 
very truly thy friend, 

John G. Whittier. 


Copse Hill, October 26th, 1880. 
My dear and venerated Friend : 

I thank you for your letter of the 11^^ inst.; 
one of the kindest and most friendly of the many kind 
and friendly letters you have written me. As the circle 
of my correspondence once very large, gradually de- 
creases, I cling with added affection to those corre- 
spondents still, (as a sailor would say) " to the fore," 
and surely among them, you stand pre-eminent. De- 
spite the score of years difference in our ages, I am 
quite old eno' to appreciate all your feelings in regard 
to the advance of time ; and to comprehend, ab imo 
pectore, the half sadness, half resignation, wherewith the 
old must regard their past, or I should rather say, their 
future, stripped as necessarily it must be, of many a 
comfort, spiritual no less than bodily, which had once 
cheered and sustained them ! 

Nevertheless, old age when virtuous and honorable 
and crowned with the laurels of well-directed genius 
(as in your case), possesses numerous alleviations, and 
that you realize this great and merciful truth, seems 
manifest from the tone of all you have said upon the 
subject. Never until the senses utterly fail, and the 
blood grows cold indeed, can you cease to derive hap- 
piness and consolation from Nature, and in the absence 
of ancient friends, of comrades who have gone, in the 
pathetic Latin phrase "gone to join the majority" 
{abiit ad plures !) you may find younger, perhaps as 

C ^20 ] 

fervent companions; or — failing this — you at least, 
comprehend how day by day, and hour by hour, you 
are drawing nearer to the " land of all realities,*' and 
to that re-union of heart bonds, which Death had sev- 
ered, a re-union, immaculate and immortal! 

You recall the great Roman philosopher's " T^rea- 
tise upon Old Age " ^ What a clever case he makes 
out in the grey beard Stoic ! But then he must be pre- 
eminently a Stoic, (or a man of somewhat callous feel- 
ings), and physically well preserved, with stout diges- 
tion, and never a twinge of neuralgia, lumbago, or 
rheumatic hints of any sort !! 

For the Christian philosopher, an infinitely higher 
species of consolation may be predicted, — so long as 
heart and mind survive — and he is freed from abso- 
lute, loathsome disease. Is it Addison, or Steele, who 
conventionally, yet touchingly compares a human life 
properly conducted, to a fair day, with its many natural 
changes, and enjoyments suited to each ? 

Of its sunset hour he discourses eloquently, show- 
ing how the very sorrows about it, may be glorified 
by a serene soul, as clouds gather splendor and beauty 
from the final rays of the departing luminary ! 

How I wish that a period not very far off perhaps, 
had, arrived, when instead of these slow (!) processes 
of steam, one could travel by balloons ! ! Assuredly, 
you should see me at "Oak Knoll," dropping liter- 
ally from the clouds, and ready to admire with you, 
the magnificence of your autumnal foliage ! Of course, 
here, in the Southern pine barrens, we have no such 
splendors, but among the mountain ranges of our 
country section, Autumn becomes an Empress so 
apparelled, that only the " pleasan^es of Paradise," I 

C 221 ] 

verily believe, could excel the glory of her investi- 
ture ! 

We congratulate your relatives, Miss Abby and 
Miss Caroline, upon their safe return from the Cali- 
fornia visit. It must have charmed them indeed! By 
the way, I have a number of near relatives now living 
in that marvellous State ; sons of my uncle, Gen! 
Robert Y. Hayne'; and their large families of sons 
and daughters. One, D' Arthur Hayne, resides in San 
Francisco ; the other, Allston Hayne, in beautiful 
Southern Cal. near Santa Barbara. 

1 'm pleased to hear of my young friend Phoebe, 
and of her efforts to keep the household^ lively; only 

^ Senator from South Carolina whose speech was the occasion of 
Webster's Reply to Hayne, March, 1830. 

2 The result of this visit of Hayne to Oak Knoll was the poem 
which T. W. Higginson says ** is one of the best pictures ever drawn 
of Whittier in his home life." (Higginson, Whittier, ii3«) 

** So 'neath the Quaker poet's tranquil roof. 
From all deep discords of the world aloof, 
I sit once more and measured converse hold. 
With him whose nobler thoughts are rhythmic gold ; 
See his deep brows half-puckered in a knot. 
O'er some hard problem of our mortal lot. 
Or a dream soft as May winds of the south. 
Waft a girl's sweetness 'round his firm, set mouth. 

** Or, should he deem wrong threats the public weal, 
Lo, the whole man seems girt with flashing steel ; 
His glance a sword thrust and his words of ire. 
Like thunder tones from some old prophet's lyre. 
Or by the hearthstone when the day is done, 
Mark swiftly lanced a sudden shaft of fun ; 
The short, quick laugh, the smartly smitten knees. 
Are all sure tokens of a mind at ease." 

[ ^2^ ] 

't is no effort to her, I warrant ! A naturally more 
exuberant child, one more healthful, and full of 
vivacity, I have seldom seen. Salute the little maiden, 
for me, and say, that Mr. Hayne often thinks of her, 
and always affectionately. I want her to read Sl Nicho- 
las for Xmas, because I '11 have a poem therein, she 
may like. Do give our best remembrances (my wife's 
and mine) to all the ladies of your household, and say 
how pleasantly we recollect their beautiful home, and 
courteous attentions to us. 

Enclosed 1 send a poem' re-published from the 
October ScribneVy which may have failed to meet your 
eye. You spoke so kindly of "From the Woods," ad- 
dressed to my " winsome woman " that perhaps you 
may like these verses, since you have known her ! 
My wife deeply appreciates the affectionate manner 
in which you always refer to her. She invariably men- 
tions our visit to " Oak Knoll '* lovingly, and often 
wishes that you were under our own roof tree. 

» "I would not lose a single silvery ray 

Of those white locks which, like a milky way. 
Streak the dark midnight of thy raven hair ; 

" I would not lose, O Sweet, the misty shine 
Of those half-saddened, thoughtful eyes of thine. 
Where love looks forth, touched by the shadows of care. 

"Love's spring was fair, love's summer brave and bland. 
But through love's autumn mist I view the land — 
The land of deathless summers yet to be ; 

"There I behold thee young again, and bright. 
In a great flood of rare, transfiguring light ; 
But there, as here, thou smilest. Love, on me. ' ' 
"Love's Autumn," Scribner'sy xx, 854; Oct., 1880. 

[ 223 ] 

Another, and very different piece, I enclose for your 
examination ; a piece provoked by what seemed to me 
a most ungenerous " fling " at Dr. Ticknor's poems 
in a recent ^^ Atlantic T ' To allow such a verdict from 
a magazine of authority, to go forth to the world un- 
contradicted, would have been nothing less than ^H'eze 
majestie^^ the majesty of death, and genius sanctified 
by death, (on the part of Ticknor's honest admirers.) 

Knowing that you are one who never has shrunk, 
and never can shrink from any truth to which you 
have once borne testimony, I unhesitatingly quoted 
your commendatory note upon the writer in question, 
and his poems. I know what an effort writing now is 
to you, but, my friend, when you can send us a letter 
however brief, it will be especially appreciated. And 
now, with my wife's love and all good wishes. 
Believe as ever 

Faithfully and affectionately Yrs. 

Paul H. Hayne. 

P. S. M" Hayne says, that if at any time you find 
it convenient, she would be delighted to receive one 
of your Ms. poems to keep! 

* The Atlantic, Nov., 1880, has a short review oi Poems of Frank 
O. Tuhor, M.D. (Philadelphia, 1879), for which Hayne wrote an 
introduction. Dr. Ticknor (i 822-1 874) was a Georgian physician 
whose poems of the Civil War were popular in the South. The re- 
viewer termed this volume of verse "an unnecessary addition to the 
unhealthily enormous list, "though approval is expressed of "the vig- 
orous, pathetic, masterly poem, < Little GifFen,' " printed in Stedman's 
American Anthology, 254. 


Boston, March 5, 1881. 
My dear Whittier : 

Thank you cordially for your " King's Mis- 
sive/' ^ and also for the lines declaring that the vol- 
ume came from an " old friend/' and that friend 
John G. Whittier. And come to think of it, I do not 
remember that a shade has passed on our friendship 
since we first met as critic and poet. Among the hun- 
dred notices I have v^ritten of you, I cannot recall any 
word which did not indicate my appreciation of your 
genius and my love for your character. Our friend- 
ship, literary and personal, has been one of unclouded 
sunshine. But who could quarrel with you, or fleer at 
you ? Everybody who has met you in life knows that 
you are a " Friend " in an intenser sense than its 
merely technical and theological one. 

In reading your latest volume, I feel, more and 
more, that the hold you have on the public mind, is 
primarily moral. But then your ethics are always 

^ Whittier often expressed his regard for Whipple (181 9- 1886). 
He dedicated The Bay of Seven Islands (1883) "To Edwin P. 
Whipple, one of the first to welcome my earliest volume, I offer the 
latest as a token of a friendship never interrupted and which years 
have only strengthened." In his Prose Works ^ ii, 3 1 8, Whittier writes: 
** Scarcely inferior to Macaulay in brilliance of diction and graphic 
portraiture, Whipple was freer from prejudice and passion, and more 
loyal to the truth of fact and history. He was a thoroughly honest 
man. He wrote with conscience always at his elbow, and never sacri- 
ficed his real convictions for the sake of epigram and antithesis.** 

2 The King's Missive and Other Poems, Boston, 1881. 

[ 225 ] 

" touched with or by emotion." The dread law as it 
awakens your conscience arouses moral feeling. This 
feeling is sometimes righteous moral wrath, sometimes 
persuasive moral tenderness and compassion ; but in 
all cases it tends to move the hearts to which it is 

And then the singular purity of your poetry! You 
not only never touch the sensual, but hardly ever 
touch even the sensuous elements which enter into so 
much of what we still must call good poetry. The 
moral atmosphere of everything you have written is 
as free from taint as the breath of a new born babe. 
Therefore, in addition to your beautiful gifts of senti- 
ment and imagination, I have always considered you 
one of the great moral and purifying forces of the 
time. It must be a solace to you in your old age that 
the stream of your verse has been like that of Words- 
worth's river Duddon " To heal and cleanse, not 
madden or pollute." Indeed, in reading this last vol- 
ume, I feel as if my soul had taken a bath in holy 

How I could run on, my dear Whittier, in this 
strain ! But I will tire you no more. My wife joins 
with me in most affectionate greetings. May we see 
you soon ! 

Ever affectionately yours, 

E. P. Whipple 


Danvers^ Mass, 

II Mo. 27, 1881. 
My dear Friend : 

I have been gratified from time to time by the 
receipt of publications connected with the excellent 
society of which thou art secretary, and in the objects 
of which I heartily sympathise. It is doing a noble 
work, and I wish we had one like it on this side of 
the water. Exhausted by the long hard anti-slavery 
struggle, I have been too much of an invalid for some 
years past to do much myself, beyond giving my 
name and countenance to humanitarian efforts. But I 
am glad to notice thy new activity and devotion to 
good works. 

I think thee sent me a pamphlet on Geo. Fox and 
a paper concerning what is called the "Salvation 
Army." I glanced over the paper, and found an arti- 
cle on Abraham's attempt at human sacrifice, which 
seemed to me a dangerous one. We have now within 
sight of where I [am] writing, a man confined for 
sacrificing his daughter, from what he regarded a sense 
of duty. He justifies himself by Abraham. 

I read with interest thy article on the Irish Ques- 
tion and think some of its suggestions wise. But I see 
nothing for the Gov^ to do but to lay a heavy hand 
on the brutal and cowardly assassins who think it 
right and proper to murder a neighbor who is honest 
enough to pay his debts. It is impossible to reason 
with unreason, like this. It seems to me that such 

[ 227 3 

men as Bright and Forster have gone to extremes in 
their concessions to Ireland so far as rent is con- 

Wishing thee abundant success in thy work so far 
as it is in accordance with the Divine Will, and with 
a pleasant remembrance of thy visit to me many years 
ago, I am truly thy friend, 

John G. Whittier. 


Boston, April ist, 1882. 
My dear Whittier : 

I thank you for your most kind and touching 
letter. It is too true that we stand in a certain sense 
alone. When Bryant fell, the cold wind struck full 
upon us. Now Longfellow is gone,' we seem to hear 
our roots cracking. I could have wished you had been 
in the library where lay all that was left of him whom 
we knew so well in life. " Dead he lay among his 
books." His brother read some sweet passages [from] 
his poems, and some of those Scriptural words which 
lie in our hearts beneath all that has been written 
since, or ever can be written. He read with unfalter- 
ing voice, and many times the tones were so like those 
of his brother that it seemed as if the poet were softly 
uttering his own requiem. All was tranquil, lovely, as 
it should have been. A branch of palm (I thought it 
was), a passion flower, nothing or next to nothing but 
these lay on or by the coffin. At the tomb only a few 
words were spoken, and the dark burden hiding what 
was so lately radiant with clear and serene intelligence 
descended into the silent darkness where more than 
twenty years ago the beautiful wife, so fitting a com- 
panion for such a poet, was laid in the midst of an- 
guish that could find no words. 

I do not know what I shall be able to say or write. 

^ Longfellow died March 24, 1882. Holmes's tribute, with com- 
ments on Longfellow's writings, is in Proceedings Massachusetts His- 
torical Society, 1881-82, xxix, 269-275. 

[ 229 ] 

I have promised the Historical Society to do some- 
thing at their next meeting. In the meantime I have 
to leave Boston early next week to join my wife and 
two of my children at Lakewood in New Jersey, 
where my youngest son ^ has been passing the winter 
on account of asthma, which has found great relief in 
that sandy spot. I myself feel tired, 1 confess it — 
tired with a long winter's lecturing, with a correspond- 
ence which has become cruel, and a cold which has 
lasted longer than common — three or four weeks 
— and leaves me feeling my work more of a burden 
than I could wish. But your loving words are always 
a cordial, and I thank you from my heart for all those 
expressions of esteem and affection of which I feel you 
to be so much worthier than myself, and send back to 
you, adding my reverence to my love. 

Always faithfully yours, 

O. W. Holmes. 

"The third child, Edward Jackson, inherited much of his 
father's wit and humor ; but unfortunately also inherited the asthma. 
This hampered him in the practice of the law, gave him, in fact, no 
chance at all in life, and finally so undermined his constitudon that he 
died untimely in 1884." Morse, Holmes , i, 172. 


Oak Knoll, Danvers, Mass, 
Stb mo. 1883. 
Hon. Charles P. Preston. 
Dear Friend : 

I very much regret that I am not able to be 
with you at the gathering ' this evening. I am, it is 
true, better acquainted with the good and true man 
whom you deservedly honor on this occasion, as a kind 
friend and neighbor, a worthy citizen and wise legis- 
lator, than as a minister, but the fact that he has ac- 
ceptably held his pulpit for twenty years, is proof 
that he has done good service in it. During this long 
period I have never heard that his parish has been 
troubled by the bodily presence of that evil and disre- 
putable personage with whom his predecessor. Parson 
Parris fought such a losing battle. As a consequence 
of this, he has had no occasion to spend his time in 
searching for witches among the elderly ladies of his 
congregation ; and the sound orthodoxy of his people 
under his ministrations, has rendered heresy hunting 
so unnecessary that the solitary Quaker who has so- 
journed within the parish limits, still remains un- 

^ The twentieth anniversary of the installation of Rev. Charles B. 
Rice, over the First Church of Danvers. It was in this parish, then 
Salem Village, that the witchcraft delusion first appeared in 1692 and 
at the parsonage of Rev. Samuel Parris, its minister. 

C 231 ] 

Pleasantry apart, I beg leave to join my congratula- 
tions with yours, with all good wishes for the Chris- 
tian gentleman who is the recipient of them. 
I am very truly thy friend, 

John G. Whittier. 


Boston^ Nov, ^th 1883 
My dear Whittier : 

Many thanks for the dear little volume of 
poems ' you sent me. I have just been reading over 
those I remembered, and others I was not sure that I 
had ever seen. 

I left off with my eyes full of tears. There is so 
much hope and sweetness and human sympathy run- 
ning through these poems that they stir, — yes, as I 
write there goes the tear which I thought would behave 
itself running down my cheek. I am not ashamed of 
my womanly tribute, for if an old man has not a few 
drops of his mother's milk left in his veins, he has 
lived too long. If I had to take my choice, I think I 
should select " How the Women went from Dover." ^ 
It gave me the old thrill as I read it — it is alive all 
over. I do not know that you will approve my choice 
and I am not sure that I ought not to have selected 
" What the Traveller said at Sunset " ^ which I read 

^ The Bay of Seven Islands and Other Poems y 1883. 
* **The tossing spray of Cocheco's fall 
Hardened to ice on its rocky wall. 
As through Dover town in the chill, gray dawn. 
Three women passed, at the cart-tail drawn." 

Poems, 130. 
3 "The shadows grow and deepen round me, 
I feel the dew-fall in the air ; 
The muezzin of the darkening thicket, 
I hear the night- thrush call to prayer." 

Poems, 463. 

C ^3 ] 

with deep emotion. God bless you, dear Whittier, 
and keep you singing until the angels are out of pa- 
tience waiting for you ! 

Affectionately Yours, 

O. W. Holmes. 


Boston^ Feby, 4, 1884. 
My dear Friend : 

It does my heart good to hear from you. We 
did not know where you were, whether at Oak Knoll 
or Amesbury. 

The winter is wearing away and I fear you are weary 
of cold and confinement. However, the sun is daily 
going higher and soon the buds will begin to swell, 
reminding us of the approach of spring and, I trust, 
the hope of comfort to you. 

My dear wife is a hermit at the Old Elms,* with 
a servant and "no company" except her husband 
occasionally and the children. The noise of the city 
with the anxiety of home, brought sleepless nights and 
"dreadful" days. She seems better and I hope she 
will be well enough next week to follow the birds 

Now we think a change will do you much good, 
and the house, 6^ Mt. Vernon St., will have only Ar- 
thur, his lovely wife, and Mrs. Freeland, whose guest 
you will be, if you will take your old room and my 
library in possession.^ You may come and go, sleep, 

I Governor of Massachusetts, 1869, 1870, 1871. 

* The Claflin estate at Newtonville. 

3 In Mrs. Claflin' s Personal Reminiscences of Whittiery 82, is 
quoted a letter from Whittier : '* I will tell thee now what I could 
not say at thy house, that I enjoyed every moment of my long visit 
with you. Of the special kindness with which I was received into 
thy household circle, I can only say that I wish that I deserved it." 

[ 235 ] 

eat, write and have your friends to visit, as independ- 
ently as Robinson Crusoe on his island. 

I expect to be absent four weeks, and Mrs. C. may 
remain longer. There is an additional attraction for 
you which I almost forgot. Mr. and Mrs. [T. B.] 
Aldrich are fairly settled in a lovely home ' with lots 
of bric-a-brac and beautiful books around them. They 
will be delighted to see you at any and all times. 

Now do not fail to come. 

Mayor Martin^ was perhaps a little hasty, but his 
anger was righteous. The School Committee has been 
run by a ring who have bought supplies in a regular 
Tweed way and had almost absolute sway, the mem- 
bers holding three or four chairmanships each. The 
Mayor divided the chairmanships properly, which 
produced the explosion. The public generally sustain 
the Mayor. 

Genl. Sherman is not a Catholic, probably has not 
much religious interest, but is a true, honest, liberal, 
large-hearted man. He has excellent administrative 
abilities and would make an excellent President. His 
wife is a recluse and would have no influence upon 
his public acts. John Sherman would much. He has 
great love for the General and would assist him to the 
best of his ability. If we could be sure to nominate 
and elect Sherman, I should sleep easy. I think Ed- 
munds could carry New York and quite likely the 
country if he could be nominated, but I fear he would 
wreck his party in the same way John Adams did. 
His strength lies in his criticism. He is a pessimist, 
and wants to do nothing in government as long as 

^ No. 59 Mount Vernon Street, Boston. 
* General A. P. Martin, Mayor of Boston. 


there is a way to avoid it. His acquiescence is gener- 
ally all you can obtain. Lincoln is a good man, and 
will do well, if elected. His strength is "sentiment." 
Blaine is dangerous if nominated, and dangerous if 
not, but less as a follower than a leader. However, 
we shall nominate a good man and be likely to elect 
him, as we are less divided than the Democrats. 

Goodby, faithfully yours 

W. Claflin. 
Remember me to the ladies. 


Haverford College^ 
nth Mo. 4tb, 1884. 
My dear Friend, 

John G. Whittier : 

1 congratulate thee on the tokens of apprecia- 
tion of thy genius and of the use thou hast made of 
thy powers, which came from many quarters at the 
recent celebration at Providence. For myself, 1 regret 
that a pressure of other engagements prevented my 
making as complete a study of my subject as I could 

There is some talk of printing the proceedings in 
a more permanent form than the newspaper report. 
If I have misapprehended any facts or failed to notice 
anything thou would like to have noticed, I shall feel 
greatly obliged if thou will send me word. 

Allow me to say that there would be no want of 
delicacy and no forwardness on thy part, if thou were 
to point out any department of thy writing, or any of 
thy aims, which I have not spoken of, or to which I 
have not done justice. 

Least of all should thou feel any delicacy in speak- 
ing of anything thou would wish referred to, of a per- 
sonal character. Thus I intend to introduce in any 
further publication an extract from thy lines to Wm. 
Lloyd Garrison, speaking of him among thy friends. 
I had marked an extract for quotation, but left it out 
• Appendix L, page 284. 

[ 238 ] 

thinking I had already said enough about the anti- 
slavery struggle, losing sight for the moment of the 
fact that he ought to be commemorated among thy 

What more ought I to say of thy mother and sister ? 
Am I right in thinking the picture of the reader in the 
"Demon of the Study "' to have been suggested by 
thy sister? Do I rightly refer to "In School Days "* 
as autobiographical ? 

The report of my address in the [Providence] 
Journal has several misprints, most of which are per- 
haps obvious. The word " not " is omitted in the 
sentence which ought to read, " The great bards of 
history have not sung merely to amuse." Line 26, 
2d column, for " noblest lives " read, " noblest loves." 
In the remarks on "Snow-Bound," I call the people 
of N. E. sturdy^ and with glimpses of the lore of Greece 
and Rome. Thy religious poetry I call "songs of the 
spirit," not "spirits." The quotations from thy poems 
have several misprints, as thou wilt observe. Yet the 
report is on the whole creditable, especially as I did 
not read the proof. ^ 

It is with a view to historical accuracy, and a desire 
to hand down perhaps to after days a juster view both 
of thy aims and thy achievements, that I venture to 
trouble thee with these requests. 

With sincere gratitude and respect, and all good 
wishes, I am 

Very truly thy friend, 

Thomas Chase. 

^ Poems y 6. * Poemst 407. 


The Larches, 

Westhury on Trym, Bristol^ 

February ii, 1885. 

Dear Poet, Subscriber and Friend : 

I have to tell you of a curious and unfortu- 
nate mistake which has befallen of late, and which has 
diverted from its rightful owner a long letter, written 
some six weeks ago by me to you. The letter was a 
grateful and hearty one, I know, but I no longer very 
clearly remember its contents. I thanked you for es- 
pousing the cause of our explorations — a cause to 
which I have devoted much time and work, and for 
which I have made very heavy sacrifices,' and I know 
I told you how very highly I value your beloved and 
honored name in our list of American subscribers, 
which already includes D' O. W. Holmes and my 
good friend, James Russell Lowell. And I said therein 
how very dear some of your poetry was to me, and how, 
years ago, I robbed you of "Barbara Fritchie" for a 
volume of selected poetry that I compiled for Baron 
Tauchnitz's Series. More than this I cannot remember. 
The fate of the letter is somewhat droll. My friend 
and invaluable coadjutor, the Rev*^ W. C. Winslow, 
when he sent me a copy of your charming letter to 
himself, asked to be allowed to see a copy of my reply 

^ Miss Edwards's efforts to arouse interest in the Egyptian Explora- 
tion Fund were indeed exhausting, and undoubtedly hastened her death 
after her lecture tour in the United States in 1890. 

[ 240 ] 

to you. Instead of sending him a copy, I sent him the 
letter itself, addressed to you, and begged him, when he 
had read it, to post it. He overlooked this request, 
believed it to be a copy and his own, put it in a col- 
lection of autographs, and finally, but very reluctantly, 
yielded it to a lady who, on the strength of so worthless 
a gift, subscribed j^io to the Exploration Fund ! Who 
the lady is I know not; but she has your letter. 

Mr. Winslow is overwhelmed with contrition, and 
has begged me to write and explain. You, I am sure, 
will enjoy the comedy of the incident and the catas- 
trophe of the ten-dollar lady, and will condone our 
friend*s mistake. 

Once more, I thank you for your much prized co- 
operation, and remain, dear sir. 

Yours very sincerely, 

Amelia B. Edwards. 


Beverly Farms^ Mass, 

Sep, ']th 1885. 
My dear Whittier : 

Thanks for your plenary absolution for the sin 
of publishing your private letter/ I am glad I did, for 
I have a right to the pleasure you speak of, that of 
seeing our names mentioned together. I had just sent 
a note down stairs, for the Post Office, directed to 
Rev. Charles Wingate, in reply to an invitation to be 
at the meeting where you are to see your old school- 
mates ^ assembled. I am sorry that I cannot be there, 
but my letter will carry my best wishes. 

As to Walt Whitman, some of his poems are among 
the most cynical instances of indecent exposure I recol- 
lect, outside of what is sold as obscene literature. But 
I said to myself just what you did to yourself — he 
served well in the cause of humanity and I do not 
grudge him a ten dollar bill, — so I sent word to Mr. 
Donaldson that I was ready with my subscription 
at any moment. You ask me for my advice. I am 
ashamed to advise a man like you, but we are told that 
it is a good thing to clothe the naked, and I remem- 

^ Whittier' s birthday congratulations to Holmes, 8th mo, 27, 
1885, turned on the remark an ''innocent" made to Whittier' s 
father, ** I am glad you and I are alive.'* Holmes allowed the Boston 
Transcript to print the letter, Aug. 31, 1885, because it was "too 
agreeable to be kept as private property." 

2 The Reunion of the surviving students of the Haverhill Academy, 
1827-30, at Haverhill, Sept. 10, 1885. FoemSy 239. 

[ 242 ] 

ber that the good Samaritan set the lame traveller on 
his own ass. 

Now Walt Whitman stands as stark naked before 
the public, in "Leaves of Grass" as nudity can dis- 
array itself We are not asked to set him on an ass, 
but to put him in a go-cart of some kind or other, 
which is nearly the same thing. I think it is a pleasant 
thing enough to do it and, though I have not made 
out a very logical case, I think you may honestly do 
it on the ground you mention. 

Many thanks for your kind invitation to call on 
you at Oak Knoll. It is not impossible that I may 
come some day before I leave for Boston, but I shall 
let you know beforehand, and ask you if the time I 
fix is convenient for you, if I give myself the great 
pleasure of such a visit. 

I hope you will enjoy the reunion with your old 

Always affectionately yours, 

O. W. Holmes. 


A Word of Explanation 

To THE Editor of the Transcript : 

I suppose it is a necessary consequence of 
one's notoriety of any kind to have all his words and 
acts regarded as public property and subjected to ex- 
aggeration and misrepresentation. Ordinarily one does 
not find it of much use to complain of this ; but there 
are cases where it seems a matter of duty to make an 
explanation. A friend recently informed me that Walt 
Whitman of Newark, N. J. was in straitened circum- 
stances, disabled and paralytic, and that an effort was 
being made to procure for him the means of exercise 
in the open air. I did not know him personally, and 
had but very slight knowledge of his writings, which, 
while indicating a certain virile vigor and originality, 
seemed to me often indefensible from a moral point of 

But I had heard of his assiduous labors as a nurse 
in Union hospitals, and had read his tender tribute to 
the memory of President Lincoln, and with no idea 
of its being made a matter of publicity, gave my mite 
for the object to which my attention was called, stat- 
ing at the same time my feeling in regard to some 
portions of Whitman's writings, and my wish for his 
own as well as the public's sake, for their expurgation. 
I should be extremely sorry to have a simple act of 

' This letter seems to have been withheld by Whittier, as it has not 
been found in the Transcript of that period. 

[ 244 ] 

humanity on my part towards a suffering man regarded 
as sanctioning or excusing anything in his writings of 
an evil tendency. 

With no wish to sit in judgment upon others, and 
making all charitable allowance possible for differences 
of temperament, education and association, I must 
confess to a strong dislike to what is sometimes called 
the sensual school of literature and art. My friend, 
Dr. Holmes, who was also a contributor, wishes me 
to say that his gift, like my own, was solely an act of 
kindness to a disabled author, implying no approval 
whatever of his writings. 

John G. Whittier 

Danvers, Mass. 

[ — '885] 


Deerfoot Farm, 

Soutbborough, Mass, 

nth Nov, 1886. 
Dear Friend: 

(I am almost tempted to call you "dear old 

friend,'* since you insist on thinking yourself an aged 

man when nobody else would dream of calling you 

so.) Nothing could have pleased me more than a letter 

from you, unless it were such a letter as you wrote. 

I am very glad you liked my poor speech. I should 
have done better, but that the Hawthorne episode ' 
came to disturb me just as I had got under way. It 
was a shabby thing to do, but I don't think he knew 
how shabby it was. Had he reported me accurately, I 
should n't have minded so much, though even if he 
had, he could n't have given the context of tone, look 
and emphasis which make so large a part of speech. 
But it is done, and can't be mended. I am thankful to 
you for your sympathy, all the same. 

I, too, wish we might meet. Perhaps some day I 
may run down to Amesbury (as I did with Bayard 
Taylor, ever so many years ago) to talk over old times. 
Meanwhile I am rejoiced to infer from your hand- 

^ The New York World had published an interview with Lowell, 
concerning which he wrote to the Boston Advertiser, Oct. 26, 1886, 
in part : ** It never entered my head that the son of my old and hon- 
ored friend was ' interviewing * me. If it had, he would have found 
me dumb." 

[ 246 ] 

writing (which is just what it was in early Atlantic 
days) that you are well, and am always, 

Most heartily yours 

J. R. Lowell 

P. S. I was thoroughly glad that Harvard honored 
herself by putting you on her roll of honor.* 
J. G. Whittier,LL.D. 

' Harvard gave Whittier the degree of Doctor of Laws in 1886, 
when the 250th anniversary of its founding was celebrated. 


Lowell, Mass, Nov. i8, 1887 
My dear Friend : 

It may interest you to know that Miss Elisa- 
beth B. Livermore, half-sister of Harriet Livermore/ 
lives near me. She is a very feeble old lady now ; her 
age, if I remember right, being 84 yrs. I had oc- 
casion to call upon her not many days since. I asked 
her if she had seen the Life of Harriet Livermore by 
Rev. Mr. Livermore, which was published three years 
since. Her reply was : " No, I have seen enough of her." 
This reply confirms what I had heard before, that 
Harriet was far from being loved by her younger 
sisters. Miss Elisabeth Livermore lives in a small half- 
house in Bartlett St. next door to my brother SamueFs 
house. Her life seems solitary, and she is all alone, and 
almost never has company. I think she is not happy in 
the families of her relatives. Her sister Caroline, Mrs. 
Judge J. G. Abbott of Boston, died a few months 
since. Her sister Sarah is the wife of John Lattemore, 
Esq. of Southbridge, Mass. and her sister Mary Jane 
is the wife of Hon. Daniel Saunders of Lawrence. 

A Lowell lady recently told me that Harriet Liver- 
more*s father, Judge Livermore of Lowell, was a very 
hard man. She referred to his harsh nature. Last even- 
ing I heard a gentleman read in public from the manu- 
script diary of the celebrated Kirk Boott, first agent 

^ Charles C. Chase (1818--1900) was for many years a teacher 
in Lowell. 

* Appendix M, page 286. 

[248 ] 

of our Merrimack Manufacturing Co., in which (in 
1824) he says that Judge Livermore was afflicted with 
the gout, but still kept on " eating and drinking enough 
for two men." From these two remarks I judge that 
Harriet Livermore may not have had a kind and gentle 
father. (She lost her mother very early.) Home seems 
never to have had any attractions for her. 

Before hearing the facts mentioned above, I had 
prepared an article upon " Harriet Livermore," after 
having seen Rev. Mr. Livermore's account of her, in 
which article I had in the mildest form suggested that 
you in " Snow-Bound " had not done full justice to 
the better part of her character. This article, prepared 
for our "Old Resident's Association," I did not read 
till last evening, and an abstract of my article appears 
in this morning's '' Morning Mail." 

This newspaper states, nearly in my own words, 
what I did say, and I inclose a slip cut from the paper 
in this letter, as also a few words cut from another 
paper. Since I prepared this article, I have somewhat 
modified my judgment of Harriet Livermore, from 
conversations which I have had with several persons 
who knew her, or knew of her. I am more inclined 
to the belief that you were just and fair in what you 
said of her in " Snow-Bound." Still I read my article 
as written, for I had used only very mild words. 

The Lowell Chases are all well. I heartily congratu- 
late you upon having, by the kindness of Heaven, 
completed eighty honorable and honored years of life. 
I, too, am hastening on in the swift race, not far be- 
hind you. In a few days I shall reach the allotted three- 
score years and ten. Very truly yours, 

C. C. Chase. 


Washington^ Jan, 20/88. 
My dear Mr. Whittier: 

I am told that the address of congratulation/ 
which was largely signed just before your birthday, 
has been delayed that some persons who desired, might 
have an opportunity to add their names, and will now 
be presented to you. I wish it were possible to let 
you know with what expressions of strong esteem and 
affection these signatures were accompanied. This was 
true, not only of Northern men and Republicans, but 
of old Democrats and slave holders as well. 

In some cases the voice trembled with feeling, and 
the eye moistened. One Senator, a man whom I sup- 
posed to be hard and dry and absolutely without poetic 
emotion, told me that when he left his native State for 
the West, the only book he owned for several years 
was Whittier's poems. 

But you are finding out in ten thousand ways how 
much your countrymen love and honor you. I can 
not begin to tell you how much inspiration and strength 
and stimulant you have been to me from my early 

I am faithfully yours, 

Geo. F. Hoar. 

^ At the suggestion of Gen. Cogswell, Representative from the 
Essex County district, an address of congratulation on the completion 
of Whittier' s eightieth year was prepared in Washington, and signed 
by Senators, Representatives, Justices of the Supreme Court, and men 
of note. The volume is now m the Whittier home at Amesbury. 


Boston, April t^th, 1888. 
My dear Whittier : 

I will not write to you on mourning paper, for 
you know how little significance there is to such sym- 
bols. I ought not to mourn that my dear wife was 
taken gently from my side before her mental change 
had reached that sad condition in which it too often 
ends. She was comely, sweet mannered, sweet tem- 
pered to the last. My weaning from her much loved 
companionship was very gradual, and I have been 
with her night and day, except during my brief visit 
to Europe, for all these years of her growing mental 
infirmity. I enjoyed forty five years of as happy mar- 
ried life as any mortals have a right to expect. As I 
look back over that long period, not a look or a word 
comes into my memory which left a sting or a wound 
after it. 

We were fortunate enough to find an excellent and 
devoted companion for her, a widow lady to whom 
she very soon became attached, and who was all to her 
that a sister could have been. 

You will be glad, I am sure, to know that my daugh- 
ter, Mrs. Turner Sargent, is coming to live with me, 
having let her own beautiful house on the slope of 
Beacon Hill, overlooking the Common, and taking 
my noble water view in exchange. 

^ A similar letter addressed to Mrs. Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward, 
is in Morse, Holmes, ii, 263. 

[251 ] 

I shall do my best to find an interest in life, and I 
know that she will help me to pass the days which will 
often seem lonely in remembrance but are crowded 
with recollections which will come back to me more 
and more as the present grows dim and dreamy. 

I shall send you a little book in the course of a week 
or two — but I do beg you to wait until we meet to 
thank me for it, for I know what it means to have to 
write a note about a friend's book. 

I often think of you, and you may be sure that no 
one can recall you in memory without a glow of love 
and reverence, such as hardly another among all your 
fellow countrymen's names would call forth. Believe 

Always faithfully and 

lovingly yours, 

O. W. Holmes. 


^be Philadelphia Inquirer 

929 Chestnut St, 

Philadelphiay Oct, 25, 1890. 
My dear Sir: 

I thought it might not be unpleasant to you 

to receive the copy of the " Inquirer " of today, which 

I have marked and send you, showing the use made 

of your poem at a Republican mass meeting in the 

Academy last night.' I suppose I am responsible in 

» Philip C. Garrett, in his speech supporting George W. Delama- 
ter for Governor, said : "As for roe, stronger reasons than any that 
have been alleged will be required to draw me from my allegiance. 
I do not despair of the Republic. I do not despair under the con- 
tinued leadership of the same beneficent party, of the ultimate con- 
quest of every form of corruption and tyranny in our country. And 
I can say with the venerable poet Whittier in lines written this very 
summer : 

' Our thought of thee is glad with hope. 

Dear country of our love and prayers ; 

Thy way is down no fatal slope. 

But up to freer sun and airs. 

« Thy lesson all the world shall learn. 
The nations at thy feet shall sit. 
Earth's farthest mountain tops shall burn. 
With watch-fires from thine own uplit. 

' Great, without seeking to be great 
By fraud or conquest ; rich in gold. 
But richer in the large estate 
Of virtue which thy children hold. 

^With peace that comes of purity. 
And strength to simple justice due, 

[ ^S3 ] 

a measure for Mr. Garrett's mistake in saying that 
the poem was written this Summer. This error and 
the poem itself, and certain comments upon it, sent 
you at the time, were copied from the "Inquirer" 
into almost every Pennsylvania newspaper, shortly 
after the Mrs. Logan reception. 

We are in the midst of a very warm political cam- 
paign in this State. The free traders of New York 
have taken a hand in Pennsylvania politics, as they 
have never done before. They have not usually at- 
tacked the tariff openly, but have confined their efforts 
to the most outrageous personal abuse of our candi- 
date for Governor, Mr. Delamater, and United States 
Senator Quay. In the circulation of these scandals 
they have been assisted by the Democrats here and 
by a few persons who in former years were Republi- 
cans, but who through personal association with the 
Clevelands, or by reason of some personal grievance, 
or because they are free traders, are now helping the 
Democrats. The New York motive, of course, is to 
break down Senator Quay, a man of great ability who 
so successfully managed the National Republican 
campaign which ended in the election of President 
Harrison. The men who know Senator Quay person- 
ally and well, say that he is a man whose word is al- 
ways fulfilled, a man of courage and wide culture with 
high ideal of personal conduct in his dealings with his 
fellow men. He is not a candidate at all, his term not 
expiring until 1893. 

So runs our loyal dream of thee, 
God of our fathers! make it true.* ** 

Philadelphia Inquirer , Oct. 25, 1890. 

These lines, revised, are in "Our Country," Poems, 383. 


I wish very much that in a general way, without 
entering into personalities, you could find it possible 
to write me something in advocacy of the tariff and 
of upholding the principles of the Republican party 
which I might print. Some of the Friends of Bucks 
County, and perhaps in Chester County, without being 
familiar with the details of the campaign, have, I fear, 
had their faith shaken by the wide circulation in the 
New York " World,*' which has been scattered broad 
cast throughout Pennsylvania, of the slanders against 
Senator Delamater, our candidate for Governor, and 
Senator Quay. These slanders have been emphati- 
cally denied, but there is danger, as was the case with 
Mr. Blaine and General Garfield, that they may drive 
away some Republican voters, and we need every Re- 
publican vote. 

Such a letter from you, as I suggest, would be worth 
a great many stump speeches, particularly In Phila- 
delphia, Bucks and Chester Counties and in the Muncy 
Valley where the Friends are strong. In these coun- 
ties, local contests threaten to reduce our majority. If 
the people can be made to appreciate the importance 
of the National issue involved in our Gubernatorial 
election, they will give up their local differences and 
unitedly support the ticket. 

Yours very truly 

Isaac R. Pennypacker. 

John G. Whittier. 

One of John Brown's sons took refuge in the home 
of Senator Delamater's father after the Harpers Ferry 
outbreak. The present candidate for Governor se- 
cretly supplied the refugee with food for some weeks. 
He was then a boy. 


137 TV est '-i%th Street, 
New York, December \%th 1890. 

My dear, my BELOVED5 Mr. Whittier: 

On this afternoon of the day when my mother 
would have been 80 years old, I came home fatigued 
and sad, not knowing that you had provided for me 
the keenest pleasure 1 now have experienced for many 
a day, and certainly the highest honor that has come 
to me at any time. When Laura, my wife, handed me 
the copy of "Sundown" I saw tears in her eyes and 
a smile on her face. I am not ashamed to confess that 
before I had finished reading the exquisite inscription 
to E. C. S., and, what with weakness and surprise and 
gratitude and a rush of tender feelings, I was myself 
crying like a child.' 

Indeed, I have grown old without having time to 
realize it, or to outgrow the selfsame thoughts with 
respect to you and your work that I had, when a 
youth in New England. You have put your hands 
upon my head and blessed me. No other hands, no 
other blessing, can be so dear to me, though other 
blessings come where one like yours has fallen. 

No poet older than myself, except Bayard Taylor, 
has ever understood me as you have — or said to me 

^ *«^/ ^z^^^^a/;?" (Cambridge, i8go). One of an edition of fifty 
copies privately printed. Later editions contain minor changes. The 
dedication {Poems^ 467) is to E. C. S[tedman], *» Poet and friend of 
poets. ..." 

[ 256] 

such words as you have said from time to time. Per- 
haps my own lack of such warmth from above has made 
me a little the more thoughtful of those still younger 
who care for a word even from me. I think your vol- 
untary letter, some years ago, when I wrote the Con- 
cord poem, was worth more to me than any words I 
ever heard before. But as for this crowning grace — 
I can only send you these broken expressions of an 
over full heart. I am sensibly touched beyond words. 
I made it rather a point, dear Mr. Whittier, not to 
write you on your birthday. I feared you would feel 
moved to answer me, and I knew you would know 
that your 83"^ anniversary was remembered in my 
house. Little did I think how you had borne me in 
your heart and mind. Stay with us yet, is the prayer 
to-night of 

Your grateful and attached friend, 

Edmund C. Stedman. 


[Amesbury^ June — , 1892.] 

Second Day Morning, 
Dear Phebe: 

I meant to have gone to Oak Knoll today, 
but I am suffering with a bad headache, and must de- 
fer it until I feel better. I think I must have taken 
cold in this hot weather in some way, though I tried 
to be careful. I suppose thy mother and Aunt Caro- 
line are at Goffstown or Manchester, or are about to 
be there (on business I suppose.) I am sorry you 
could not accept Mrs. Hollingsworth's invitation. 
Lizzie Pickard writes that it is very hot at Yearly 
Meeting. I am glad I did not try to go there though 
I was anxious to meet Dr. Thos. Chase ' there, to 
have some talk with him about writing my biography 
which he has consented to do in connexion with M' 
Pickard, who will aid him in obtaining material and 
facts etc. I wish for my part that nothing of the kind 
should be written.^ 

I wish I was at Oak Knoll this hot day; it is as 
hot there as here, but the sight of green fields and 
trees seems to make heat less severe. I am sure the 
garden is greatly improved, and the roses must be, 
some of them at least, in bloom. The climbing roses 
under my window are in full blossom and the flowers 
look in upon me. The laburnum is also doing well, 

^ See Appendix L, p. 284. * Appendix N, p. 289. 

[258 ] 

and the cut-leaf birches at the end of the garden are 
large and handsome. There is a small patch of straw- 
berries, a rare kind from Gen. Cogswell's, which are 
just ripening. The old white rose, a slip from Aunt 
Jones' rose bush more than loo years old, is budded. 
As soon as I feel able to, I shall go to Oak Knoll. 
The very hot weather keeps me in doors. To-day is 
the hottest of all. Love [to] you all. 


J. G. W. 


Hampton Falls, N. H, 

Aug. 28, 1892. 
Dear Caroline: 

I feared there might be some doubt about the 
title of the Alaska Mission/ and am glad the money- 
raised is safe in the Bank. But I hope now the legal 
rights of the Mission land ownership will be fully in- 
vestigated and definitely settled. I wrote to the cor- 
respondent or clerk of the New Wilmington Yearly 
Meeting, urging the needs and claims of the Mission. 
The Friends there are poor but active and zealous, 
and want to do something, and they will do all they 

The great change in the weather has been hard for 
me, and I have not felt so well as before, but there 
are indications of fair weather to-day. The pilgrims 
and reporters have found me out, and I am still an- 
noyed by them. I enclose some verses I wrote for Dr. 
Holmes' Birthday.^ Rather poor and weakish, but I 

^ The last letter Whittier wrote to Oak Knoll. Three days later 
he was taken ill, and died September 7, 1892, at Hampton Falls, 
N. H. 

* Whittier' s cousins, with whom he made his home, became inter- 
ested while travelling on the Pacific Coast, in a Friends* Mission to 
the Indians at Juneau, Alaska. On their return Whittier with others 
contributed to its support. Unfortunately the building was on land with 
a defective title, and serious loss ultimately resulted. 

3 Two days before writing this letter, he had sent Dr. Holmes a 

. [ 26o ] 

wanted to remember him on the occasion. Tell Phebe 
I shall write her soon. AfF. 

J. G. W. 

copy of the verses, his birthday being August 29th, the last work Whit- 
tier did. Pickard, W hit tier , -jbo,. 

*« Climbing a path which leads back never more 
We heard behind his footsteps and his cheer ; 
Now face to face, we greet him standing here 
Upon the lonely summit of Fourscore." 
«* O. W. Holmes on his Eightieth Birthday," Poems, 473. 


APPENDIX A (See page 5) 


It seems probable that Whittier knew, when he was writ- 
ing to his mother, that the publishers of the Review were con- 
sidering appointing him permanent editor, and that his wish 
that he might tell the good news may have imparted the eager 
tone to his letter. The issue of the Review for the next week, 
Sept. 20, 1830, announces the appointment, and contains 
the new editor's "creed," which is here printed through the 
courtesy of the Trustees of the Haverhill Public Library, in 
whose possession there are four numbers of the paper. 

" To THE Patrons of the N. E. Review. 

... I consented to take charge of the Review during 
the absence of its Editor to the West, for a short time only, 
and without intention of taking upon myself the responsibility 
of the paper, or of giving a character to it, essentially different 
from that which it had acquired under the management of 
my predecessor. . . . 

Circumstances have since placed me in a different atti- 
tude in regard to the Review and its patrons; — and, as our 
intercourse may prove of longer duration than I had im- 
agined, I shall briefly explain my editorial creed. 

I am opposed to the present Administration. I disapprove 
of most of its important acts ; — it has more than realized 
the darkest anticipations of those who opposed it ; it has 
broken the faith of treaties ; — it has punished integrity, 
and rewarded servility and treachery ; — it has assailed the 
American System, indirectly indeed, but still with the mani- 
fest intention of destroying it ; — it has scattered the seeds 


of political and moral corruption abroad among the people ; 
— it has given the enemies of our free institutions an occa- 
sion of rejoicing, and has filled the heart of the patriot with 
fearful forebodings of the future. 

I need not say that I am the advocate of the election of 
Henry Clay to the next Presidency. I espoused his cause 
with a firm belief that it was my duty to do so. I have seen 
nothing as yet to induce a contrary opinion. I shall continue 
to use my best endeavors to promote his election, believing, 
in the sincerity of my heart, that in so doing, I shall best sub- 
serve the interests of the public. 

I shall endeavor to aid the cause of morality and rational 
religion. A great moral revolution is going on around us, the 
voice of public opinion is growing louder and louder, and 
already the strongholds of Vice are shaking to its responses, 
like the walls of Jericho to the sound of the trumpet. I shall 
seek to promote this glorious revolution. I trust I shall never 
so far prostitute the intellect which God has given me, as to 
become the apologist of immorality and irreligion, whatever 
shape they may assume, or under whatever name they may 

John G. Whittier." 

It is to be noted that, as Whittier became of age Dec. 1 7, 
1828, he had yet to cast his first vote for President or a mem- 
ber of Congress. 



(See page 50) 

When Whittier made this inquiry he was disturbed, and 
the circumstances reveal his sound judgment, for older heads 
were losing sight of the main issue. The Grimke sisters, 
Sarah and Angelina, at this time were in Amesbury. These 
young women, born in South Carolina of a slaveholding fam- 
ily, had reasoned out for themselves that slavery was wrong, 
but, finding no sympathy at home, had come North and were 
now speaking in public against it. That women should speak 
at all in public, had called from the ministers, assembled at 
Brookfield, Mass., the formal declaration in which were two 
propositions, first, that slavery should not be forced into the 
churches as a subject for debate, and second, that public dis- 
cussion by women was dangerous to the female character. 
This declaration prompted Whittier*s " Pastoral Letter " 
{Poems ,t 276), in which he speaks of 

"the thrilling tale 
Of Carolina's high-souled daughters." 

The sisters were arousing so much interest by their charm 
of manner and their forceful thought, that they were literally 
carrying all before them. " Such was the overpowering influ- 
ence with which they swept the churches that men did not 
remember the dogma of women keeping silence, until after 
they were gone." Whittier, appreciating possible complica- 
tions, wrote the sisters from New York, 14th of 8th Mo. 
1837 (Birney, The Grimke Sisters^ 203), urging them to con- 
fine their arguments to immediate emancipation, because 
" those who subscribe money to the Anti-Slavery Society, do 

[ i66 ] 

it in the belief that it will be spent in the propagation, not of 
Quakerism or Presbyterianism, but of the doctrines of ' Im- 
mediate Emancipation.' To employ an agent who devotes 
half his time and talents to the propagation of ' no human or 
family government ' doctrines in connection — intimate con- 
nection — with the doctrines of abolition, is a fraud upon the 
patrons of the cause." Moreover he criticized Garrison, 
saying that " if he fills his paper with Grahamism and no gov- 
ernmentism,he defrauds his subscribers," though he "knows 
that brother Garrison does not look at it in this light." 

But they had already reached Amesbury, and were guests 
in the Whittier home. They had lectured twice the preced- 
ing week, and on one evening they had been interrupted by 
two young men of Amesbury, John S. Page and Amos Mor- 
rill, who had been in the South, one as a doctor, and the other 
as a teacher. These men contended that the condition of the 
slave was no worse than that of the Northern mill operative 
or farm workman, and they challenged the sisters to a public 
debate. This occurred the next week, and again two evenings 
were devoted to the subject, July 17 and 19, 1837. The 
topic assigned was " Are the slave laws of the United States 
contrary to God's law ? " The men justified slavery by Bible 
texts, while the women dwelt on the demoralization resulting 
from slavery. At the close of the second day, Angelina Grimke 
read a letter, written by a young woman named Churchill, 
signed " A Free Woman of Amesbury," indignantly repel- 
ling the suggestion of slavery in the North. 

In the following letter ' from Whittier to Theodore D. 
Weld, written over forty years later, reference is made to one 
of the disputants, Morrill, who had been appointed Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas by the Brigadier- 
General commanding that State under the Reconstruction 
Act of 1867, serving until 1870. The memorial mentioned 
was a volume written by Weld in memory of the sisters, 
one of whom, Angelina, he married. 

* In possession of John Albree. 


Ameshury^ ()th Mo.^ 14, 1880. 
Dear Theodore: 

How glad I am to get a line from thee ! I had just 
been writing answers to letters from Robt. Purvis and Enoch 
Mack, (two surviving signers of the Anti-Slavery Declaration 
of 1833) when I received thine. And I told them of thee and 
our dear friend Sewall. 

It is possible that the memorial of thy dear wife and her 
sister was sent to Danvers in my absence, as I spend part of 
my time there, and was laid aside by my cousins, and lost 
sight of in the multitude of books and papers with which the 
house is filled. I shall be at Danvers next week and will 
make a thorough search, and notify thee of the result. 

How well I remember dear Angelina's visit here, when 
she first came to New England, the brave, beautiful, young 
woman ! How we all admired and loved her. Judge Morrill 
of the Supreme Court of Texas, is now in this place, and 
we talk of her debate with him in this village more than 40 
years ago. He says he felt then that she had the right of the 
argument, and that he always remembered her with profound 
respect. In the Rebellion Judge M. was true to the Union 
and risked his life for it. 

God bless and keep thee, dear Theodore ! We are near 
the great mystery. We can only trust, and wait — trust, not 
in our own goodness, but in that of Him, who is the source 
of all goodness and love and compassion. 

Always thy affectionate friend, 

John G. Whittier. 



The association of these three names shows how closely 
Elizabeth was following her brother in his work. Of Mrs. 
Chapman Whittier wrote, June, 1878: — 

" Mrs. Chapman was an early and strenuous worker in 
the anti-slavery cause, and I give her full credit for it. I un- 
derstand well how she failed to comprehend and appreciate 
the labors of [Wm. Ellery Channing], and of every other 
man who, while perilling all in the service of freedom, could 
bid Godspeed to those outside of party who were yet doing 
something in their own way for the cause, and could make 
allowance for those who failed to see their duty clearly and 
who hesitated to pronounce our shibboleth. I am sorry, for 
her sake, that she has kept her old prejudices and miscon- 
ceptions alive to this day." (Pickard, Whittier^ ^\Z') 

In 1839 Mrs. Chapman published "Right and Wrong 
in Massachusetts," in which she relates the disagreements 
and conflicts among those who were working for the slave. 
She is extravagant, both in praise and censure. She quotes 
with approval a speech of J. T. Woodbury : — 

" A Virginia Christian slave holder comes here, and ap- 
peals to us about the Virginia State Bible Society to send the 
Bible to the extreme ends of the earth. Why don't he give 
the Bible to his own slaves then, and teach them to read it, 
before he asks for our money to help him send Bibles to the 
slaves in sin in distant lands ? Why, his very Bibles he sends 
to the Hindoo, are bought with the blood and souls of his 
slaves. It is dividing the gains of hell with God. If this is 
Christianity, well might the heathen say, God defend us from 

[ 269 ] 

What prompted Elizabeth Whittier's inquiry as to Wood- 
bury's appointment, since this extract shows him to have 
been an outspoken and zealous advocate of the slave, was 
that at this moment Woodbury and Garrison were at vari- 
ance. Woodbury's letter of criticism of Garrison and his 
methods had been printed in the Liberator^ and Garrison, by 
way of refutation, had reprinted the speech of Woodbury's. 
The points of diflPerence were largely such as should have 
been settled quietly and definitely by the managers, instead 
of being allowed to be subjects for discussion and general 
strife. For instance, how could it advance the freedom of 
the slave, if the name of a Boston minister was printed for 
several weeks as that of a possible slaveholder, because he 
had not read from his pulpit a notice of an anti-slavery 
meeting ? 

Woodbury was later settled for many years over a Con- 
gregational church at Milford, Mass. There he established 
a lasting reputation as an aggressive, determined, earnest man 
of high character and worth. (Ballou, Milford^ 1 1 34.) 

Abby Kelly, later Mrs. Foster, was a teacher in Lynn, 
and was already showing herself fo be a woman of strong 
individuality. In Garrison's account of the meeting in Penn- 
sylvania Hall, Philadelphia, just before it was burned by the 
mob, he wrote of her as " a noble young woman from Lynn." 
Her speech so affected Theodore D. Weld that, at the close 
of the meeting, he urged her to take the field as an anti-slav- 
ery lecturer ; and " laying his hand on her shoulder, he said 
in his vehement way, ' Abby, if you don't, God will smite 
you.' She obeyed his voice, and her own internal promptings, 
in the spring of 1839." {Garrison^ ii, 216.) 


H. C. WRIGHT (See page 55) 

In Henry Clarke Wright (i 797-1 870), who is mentioned 
rather slightingly in several letters, is illustrated a type of the 
people with whom Whittier had to do, when a secretary of 
the American Anti-Slavery Society. At the date of this letter, 
Wright was completing his labors in Essex County as an 
agent of the Society, having been ordered to Pennsylvania. 
During July he had been in charge of the movements of the 
Grimke sisters, arranging for and participating in the meet- 
ings, and then reporting them at length for the Liberator. 
Holding a license from Andover Theological Seminary, he 
had preached in West Newbury, 1826-33, and in 1835 he 
had joined the anti-slavery movement. Instead of confining 
himself to presenting the cause of abolitionism, he would 
declaim on his peculiar notions of family government and the 
promotion of universal peace. As he had a surplus of energy 
and a deficiency of tact, he was frequently a centre of com- 
motion. In October, 1837, the Society felt constrained to dis- 
pense with his further services because he refused to confine 
himself to the anti-slavery work, for which he was paid. At 
times in later years, he was of great help to Garrison, whose 
words of approval are recorded in his Life. 

From 1 8 18 to 1870 Wright kept a combined note-book 
and diary, seventy-one volumes of which are now, by gift of 
Wendell Phillips, in the Boston Public Library. These books 
vary in size and shape. In them he recorded at length and 
in detail his thoughts and his deeds, and though the record 
is necessarily personal, it reveals something of the life and 
work of the agents of the Anti-Slavery Society, for whose 
movements Whittier was in part responsible. These agents 
were paid a salary of about ;^6oo a year, but they were ex- 

[ 271 ] 

pected to collect enough for their own expenses. This re- 
sulted frequently in their being entertained without charge 
by local friends of the cause, wherever they spoke. Wright 
recorded each day at whose house he was cared for, and also 
the names of the people he met. The record of one day 
deserves extended mention, for a cause that could call for 
such expenditure of time and strength, both by the agents 
and the supporters, as the day's story shows, had great power 
behind it, and the fact that the result was so long delayed, 
reveals also the strength of that which it opposed. 

The entry for July 19, 1837, begins with three texts, one 
each in Hebrew, Greek, and English. Then came the walk 
to Amesbury, to see the Grimkes at the Whittier home, 
where Wright planned out the argument for the evening's 
discussion, the heads of which he gives in full. Leaving there, 
he walked to Bradford, six miles, where he was entertained 
at the house of Gardner B. Perry. He wrote a letter of 
1 100 words to Prof. Crosby of Dartmouth College, which he 
copied verbatim in the diary, for those were not the days of 
copying ink or carbon paper. He lectured two hours in the 
evening " to a goodly number " on the annexation of Texas, 
and then ends the record thus: <' Walked 15 miles today 
and lectured two hours. Much exhausted, but the Lord has 
sustained me." The next day he walked home, and wrote an 
account of the Grimke sisters' labors for the Liberator^ in 
which it duly appeared. 

As Wright made the arrangements as to places and dates 
for the Grimkes' addresses, the record in his diary of the 
Amesbury debate may have a personal coloring, but still it 
can be cited : — 

" On the part of the sisters the discussion was managed 
most adroitly, especially the last evening. I have never met 
with souls in the form of women like unto the souls of Sarah 
and Angelina. They are truly intellectual and moral beings, 
subject only to their God. They command one's respect and 
admiration, not as women only, but as immortals." 



(See page 63) 

" The nature of the mysterious malady [^eye-strairij which 
afflicted Whittier was never suspected by himself, his friends, 
or his physicians. It was the same in the cases of De Quin- 
cey, Carlyle, Darwin, Huxley, Browning, Spencer, Park- 
man, George Eliot, Lewes, Mrs. Carlyle, Margaret Fuller, 
Nietzsche, and Wagner. As one gathers to a focus the ex- 
tracts concerning the ill-health of each, the truth bursts on the 
view except of those who do not wish to see it." (^Biographic 
Clinics^ 261.) 

"To one who had not heard from many patients the tale 
of their sufferings exactly like that of Whittier, and who had 
not observed in them the same results of self-scrutiny, exhaus- 
tion, and sensitiveness, the fact of his daily concern and em- 
phasis of pain, might itself seem morbid. But the sympathetic 
oculist will make no such mistake. There is no disease more 
terrible in its intensity of pain, more likely to crush out virility 
and morale, than this agonizing affection. Had Whittier not 
been essentially of the heroic type, a Friend who by ancestry, 
faith, and nurture had not been predestined to quiet valor and 
endurance, the pain he suffered would not have left him his 
heart of healthy and sunny manliness. Pity for his sad lot by 
those who know what he endured, is in reality height- 
ened." (Ibid.^ 265.) " All the newspapers that Whittier ed- 
ited had to be abandoned because the editor could not carry 
on his literary work. He had to renounce the great duty of 
anti-slavery reform for which his heart and head had fitted 
him, and his predestined role of statesman had also to be 
abandoned, — all due to eyestrain. Retiring to the farm and 

C 273 ] 

the life of a valetudinarian, even his beautiful poetic endow- 
ment was denied proper outlet because he could not write 
and study as he should have done." [Ibid.^ 355') 

So writes Dr. George M. Gould, editor o^ American Medi- 
cine^ about Whittier in the second of the five volumes. Biogra- 
phic Clinics; Influence of Visual Function on Healthy the sub- 
title of the volume being "The Origin of the 111 Health of 
George Eliot, George Henry Lewes, Wagner, Parkman, 
Jane Welch Carlyle, Spencer, Whittier, Margaret Fuller 
Ossoh, and Nietzsche." (Philadelphia j Blakiston, 1904.) 

The plan of the writer is to collect the references to the 
ill health, made either by the subject or his friends, and on 
these to base his diagnosis. With such statements about 
Whittier he fills eight pages. 


(Wright's Reply, page 65) 

The "kind and wise letter " of Whittier's, dated at Ames- 
bury, 25th, 3d Mo., 1840, is printed in full in Pickard, 
Whittier as a Politician (Goodspeed, 1900), 16. He advised 
strongly against making any nominations at this convention, 
and outlined the course for it to follow : — 

" One word in regard to the convention at Albany. I am 
glad it has been called ; it is proper that the great question 
should be discussed, and that abolitionists should be exhorted 
to maintain their integrity. But credit me, for I know, that 
nine tenths of the voting abolitionists (and all the non-voting of 
course) will be opposed to a nomination at this time. Besides, 
you can find nobody to stand the abuse, misrepresentation 
and Indian warfare which will be waged against them. . . , 
It will be folly to put men in nomination, and then have them 
come out in the papers and decline ; and any man who is 
worthy of such a nomination will most assuredly do so. . . . 

" Let your convention settle the question that it is right 
and proper to use political action for the overthrow of slav- 
ery ; that independent nominations are a legitimate means of 
carrying our principles into the politics of the country ; that 
Martin Van Buren and William Henry Harrison are un- 
worthy of the support of abolitionists ; that it is better in this 
case to forego the privilege of voting on the Presidential ques- 
tion altogether than to sacrifice the interests of freedom by 
aiding in the election of an enemy to the cause. ... 

" Take high ground as you please on the duty of exercis- 
ing our rights and privileges as citizens, and commend to 
the serious consideration of abolitionists the question whether 

[ 275 ] 

the time has not arrived when duty to the slave requires of 
us to take an unflinching, uncompromising stand, independent 
of caucus and party. But do not gratify your enemies by mak- 
ing any nomination. // will not he voted by one half of the men 
who now profess to be in favor of it. Immediately after the 
Presidential election let a convention be called ; you will 
then have only the non-resistant non-voters to oppose you." 
The ticket nominated at the convention, Birney and 
Earle, received but 7369 votes. Lack of organization, the 
difficulties attendant on a third party, and divisions among 
the anti-slavery people contributed to the result. James G. 
Birney, who was in Europe when nominated, was a man of 
strong, clear, calm mind whose personality would appeal to 
the members of the Liberty party, for through the death of 
his father he had succeeded to a half interest in an estate 
consisting of money and slaves. He took the slaves in his 
portion, allowing his co-heir ;^20,ooo for them, and then 
freed them all. 

APPENDIX G (See page 74) 

John Neal, whose peculiar characteristics M. F. Whittier 
has aptly portrayed, preserved a pathetic letter from John 
G. Whittier, written before he was twenty-one, in Wander- 
ing Recollections of a Somewhat Busy Life (1869), 337. In 
writing of the beginning of The Yankee^ a magazine published 
by him at Portland, Neal says : — 

" While burning its way into public favor I had for con- 
tributors from all parts of the country such men as Chief 
Justice Appleton, whose first published writings appeared in 
'The Yankee,' John G. Whittier who began his career 
with me, I believe . . . Edgar A. Poe and half a hundred, 
more or less, of writers who have since become distinguished. 
Poe sent his first poems to ' The Yankee.' . . . And as for 
Whittier, I have just fished up a letter of his, which I had 
entirely forgotten, dated ' lOth Mo. 1828,' and showing on 
what terms we were forty years ago. A part of it ran thus : — 

" ' My dear Neal, I have just written something for your 
consideration. You dislike, — I believe you do at least, — 
the blank verse of our modern poets and poetesses. Never- 
theless I send you a long string of it. If you dislike it, say 
so privately and I will quit poetry, and everything else of a 
literary nature, for I am sick at heart of the business. . . . 
Insult has maddened me. The friendless boy has been 
mocked at ; and, years ago, he vowed to triumph over the 
scorners of his boyish endeavors. With the unescapable sense 
of wrong burning like a volcano in the recesses of his spirit, 
he has striven to accomplish this vow, until his heart has 
grown weary in the struggle . . .' 

"Of course I wrote a most encouraging letter in reply ; 

[ 277 ] 

for he persisted until he has become one of the glories of our 
upper sky , . ." 

Following this incident further ; there is in the Haverhill 
Public Library a letter from Whittier in which he uses this 
one of his boyhood as the theme of a delightful expression of 
sympathy to some one who must remain unknown, as the 
letter was acquired by the Library in the auction room. 
By permission of the Trustees, it is here printed : — 

Oak Knoll, yd Mo. i8, 1885. 
Dear Friend, 

Thy letter, sent to the Winthrop House [Boston], 
has at last reached me, and I am sorry for the annoyances of 
which it tells. When I saw thy little epistle to the Ed. of 

, I feared it would be the source of some trouble to thee. 

Mr. should not have published it. It gave an oppor- 
tunity for mischief and misunderstanding. I do not see any 
way to avoid this, but it will be forgotten in a short time, 

I made, when I was beginning authorship, a somewhat 
similar mistake. My verses were not saleable, and I was un- 
justly, as I thought, criticized in the papers ; and in a rather 
desperate mood, while writing to John Neal, Editor of the 
Portland Yankee, I made complaints of non-recognition, etc. 
It was a private letter, but it eventually got into print, much 
to my mortification. It is best, when one feels as I did, to 
keep still, or put one's head in the cupboard and speak there. 

I do not see what I can do or say which would not have 
the effect to keep the matter alive. Let it die out as it 
already has well nigh done. 

I have been under the doctor's hand for a long time, and 
have hardly strength to write absolutely necessary letters. 
" The Spring comes slowly up this way," and I cannot get 
much comfort from these bitter March days. I hope thee 
have recovered from thy cold. 

Don't worry any more about that little matter. It will all 
blow over, and thee will wonder that it ever troubled thee. 
Always thy friend, John G. Whittier. 


WHITTIER TO SUMNER (Sumner's Reply, page loi) 

From Letter Books of Charles Sumner^ Harvard College Library. 

Ameshury^ lOth ph mo. 1848. 
Dear Friend : 

The following paper has been signed in this place by 
1 20 of our citizens, Whigs, Democrats and Liberty men : 
" Free Soil and Free Labor, 
The undersigned citizens of Amesbury and Salisbury being 
in favor of the extension of the Anti-Slavery Ordinance of 
1787 over the territory acquired from Mexico, and for union 
of the people of the Free States of all parties to effect that 
object, hereby invite Chas. Sumner, Esq. of Boston to address 
them on the subject as soon as his convenience will permit." 
It is proper to state that nearly all to whom the paper was 
shown, signed it without hesitation and there can be no ques- 
tion but that two thirds of our legal voters in the two towns 
would unite with it. 

Will thee not drop me a line informing me when thou 
canst come ! Fix, if possible, an early day. The cars run up 
here from Boston just in season for an evening meeting, and 
go out again in the morning early enough to take thee back 
before business hours. 

Very cordially thy friend, 

John G. Whittier. 

Come directly to my place. I want to talk with thee about 
the present posture of matters. J. G. W. 


WHITTIER TO SUMNER (Sumner's Reply, page 121) 

From Letter Books of Charles Sumner^ Harvard College Library. 

Ameshury^ \^th 11th Mo. 1853. 
My dear Friend : 

We are defeated, as I expected, after Cushing's Edict 
appeared. I knew that we could not cope with the money 
of Boston and the patronage of Washington combined. 

This must be the end of coalition^ except on anti-slavery 
grounds. I wash my hands of it henceforth. It becomes us 
now to take our stand on the old platform, with inexorable 
firmness. Let us palter no more : let us lift up the standard of 
principle and invite all who are sick of the rule of the slave 
power, to join us, in open and manly opposition to it. So doing, 
I verily believe our defeat will be our gain. I do hope our 
friends of the State Committee will see the matter in this light 
and take bold ground. It would be worse than folly, longer 
to court an unwilling and wavering old time democr[acy]. 
Let it go and reap the fruit of its doings. We have something 
worth contending for : let us have faith in our principles and 
be willing to follow them into a minority for the present. We 
have lost nothing. We are to-d [ay] what we were yesterday. 
Courage, faith, perseverance 1 — with these all will be well. 

I was glad to see thy bro. George. I liked him much. 
His lecture was universally admired. 
Write me soon and 

believe cordially and ever thy friend, 

J. G. Whittier. 

Wilson gets a noble vote, — some 1500 or 2000 more than 
Hale last year. Up to the time of Cushing's letter, I had little 
doubt of his being Governor. 


WHITTIER TO SUMNER (Sumner's Reply, page 128) 

From Letter Books of Charles Sumner^ Harvard College Library. 

Ameshury^ iith Mo. 12, 1856. 
My dear Sumner, 

If I have not written thee often during the last few 
months, it has been owing to no lack of interest in thy wel- 
fare, or of sympathy in thy sufferings for the Good Old 
Cause. I have not felt at liberty to trouble thee with letters, 
of which I feared thou hadst far too many for thy comfort. 
I knew that all I could say, would be but a feeble and inade- 
quate expression of the feeling which wells up in my heart, 
whenever I think of thee. 

I can understand, dear S., that mere bodily suffering has 
been but a small part of thy trial. I can well understand 
(for in some measure I have long felt it) the pain which an 
earnest spirit feels when obliged to stand still, while the battle 
for Human Freedom is in suspense. During the late mo- 
mentous campaign I have been utterly unable to do anything 
effective or commensurate with my interest in it. What I 
could do, I have done. And for thyself, thy denunciation 
of the Crime against Kansas has burdened all the winds — 
thy very absence has spoken for thee : and the words of cheer 
and counsel which have been sent from time to time from 
thy retirement, have been potent instrumentalities in awak- 
ening the North. 

The result of the election has not disappointed me. It is 
in fact, better than I dared to hope. Every way considered, 
is it not better than we had a right to expect ? If we can 
hold what we have gained, our victory is only delayed for 
four years. For me, so far from repining, I bow in grateful 

[281 ] 

acknowledgment to the Divine Providence which has given 
me in this canvas, as from the top of Pisgah, a glimpse of 
the Canaan of Freedom. 

My chief present anxiety is for Kansas. All looks dark 
there, but God is over all, and He can turn and overturn, 
until His right is established. It is barely possible however, 
that policy may dictate to the managers of the President-elect, 
a more decent course of action as respects Kansas, through 
fear of losing what little hold they still retain on the free 
States. Nothing will contribute more to this than a determi- 
nation, manifested at once by the friends of freedom, to hold 
their own, and press forward to new victories, by reorganis- 
ing in every section of the free States on the principle of the 
Phild^ Platform. We have found that the name of Fremont 
is a spell of power, and we must use it. With it we can keep 
our many-sided host together. Americans, Republicans and 
adopted citizens are united in his favor. 

But enough of such matters; I want to say a word to 
thee as an old friend. Do not leave home for Washington, 
until thy health is more fully established. Congress will do 
nothing for the first month, and the remaining two will not 
witness any important action, so far as the Senate is concerned. 
Massachusetts, God bless her! loves her son too well to re- 
quire him to hazard his health by a premature resumption of 
his duty. Patience, patience; then dear S. remember that 
" They also serve who wait." 

Do not trouble thyself to answer this, but think of me as 
Ever and affectionately, 
thy friend, 

John G. Whittier 

My Mother and sister wish to add th[eir] kind remem- 

I am delighted with thy eulog[y of] Wilson. How very 
nobly he has borne himself! Burlingame*s re-election rejoices 
us all. 


WHITTIER TO SUMNER (Sumner's Reply, page i8o) 

From Letter Books of Charles Sumner^ Harvard College Library. 

Ameshury^ 6th mo. 12, 1872. 
My dear Sumner, 

Thanks for thy letter. I needed no assurance on thy 
part that thy speech was an honest one and inspired by a 
sense of duty. And yet I am sorry for some parts of it, as I 
think the effect would have been better if it had been less 
severe. I enclose a note to the " Transcript." I think already 
a reaction has here commenced, and many who denounced 
the speech strongly, now feel that after all, the charges it 
makes have not been disproved. Indeed, I have not much 
doubt that, if thy election as Senator were pending in Mass^" 
at this very time, there w.^ be a majority in thy favor, for I 
presume the great body of the Democrats would sustain thee, 
and the old Liberty party men are not all gone over by any 

Always affectionately, 
thy friend, 

John G. Whittier 


Letter from John G, Whittier 

Ameshury 6, 5/^ Mo^ 1872 
To THE Editor of the Transcript: 

In the " Evening Transcript," which has just come 
to hand, I notice a paragraph professing to give my views of 

[ 283 ] 

the late speech of Senator Sumner. My individual opinions 
in the matter are of small consequence to the public, but if 
presented at all, I prefer to give them in my own wzy. As 
regards the senior Senator of Massachusetts 1 have no change 
of opinion to record. I have not forgotten his long and bril- 
liant services in the cause of freedom and the best interests 
of his country and mankind. I know him well. I have stood 
side by side with him for thirty years, and it requires some- 
thing more than a mistake on his part to make me desert an 
old friend. I confess that I have seen with some impatience 
men, whose Republicanism seems mainly to consist in their 
readiness to grasp the spoils of a victory won in a great mea- 
sure by others, maligning, insulting and displacing a man 
whose integrity, intellect and acquirements are a standing 
reproach to themselves. I am no blind advocate of Senator 
Sumner, or any other man. I expect to see faults and frailities, 
and to grieve over the mistakes of those I love and respect. 
I regret the late speech, as it exposes the author to the charge 
of personal resentment, and because it seems to me unduly 
severe in its tone and temper. The Republicans of Massa- 
chusetts may, and probably will, dissent from its conclusions 
through the press and at the ballot box, but they have no 
occasion to question his sincerity, or to charge him with aban- 
doning any of the great principles which he has so nobly as- 
serted, and for which he has suffered more than martyrdom. 

Very truly thy friend, 

John G. Whittier. 


THOMAS CHASE (See pages 237 and 257) 

Thomas Chase, born in Worcester, Mass., 1827, a graduate 
of Harvard, 1848, became a professor in Haverford College, 
1856, and its president in 1874. He resigned in 1886, and 
died but a few weeks after Whittier in 1892, so that what 
Whittier planned (Whittier's letter, page 257), that Chase 
should write his biography, could not be accomplished. It is 
not improbable that in the subject of this letter, Chase's ora- 
tion, " Whittier as a Poet," the reason for Whittier's wish 
may be discerned. 

A portrait of Whittier was given to the Friends School, 
Providence, by Charles F. Coffin of Lynn, and Thomas 
Chase was chosen to deliver the oration at the exercises of 
presentation, loth mo. 24th, 1884. After defining the poet 
as one who sees, feels and gives voice to what is deepest, 
best and truest in nature and in life, and furthermore as 
one who pleads for and inspires to search for the good and 
the true. Dr. Chase quoted freely in illustration from Whit- 
tier's verse. 

But the conclusion dealt with the man, Whittier, in words 
that commended themselves especially to him who was the 
centre of the thought that day : — 

" It is an honorable title which will cling to Whittier in 
distant generations — that of 'The Quaker Poet.' And if I 
am not mistaken, some of the best characteristics of our bard 
are derived from the gentle sect in which he was reared, and 
which he so truly loves. The meditative mind, the calm in- 
trospection, the love of nature and the love of man, the na- 
tive refinement, which seems inborn in Quaker blood, and 
the moral indignation launching words that are half battles 

[ 285 ] 

against the wrong, and fighting in the fierce but bloodless 
warfare of reform at the same time that it rings the Christian 
bells of peace : all these, so characteristic of Whittier, are 
characteristic of the Friend." (President Chase's Oration, 39.) 

As to Dr. Chase himself, the record of those who knew 
him best is : — 

"A new era dawned upon Haverford with the advent of 
Thomas Chase. It would be superfluous to speak of his high 
scholarship and varied attainments; the experiences of the 
many students who have received his instruction, the testi- 
mony of many learned men, the evidence given by his edition 
of the Classics, and his services upon the Committee on the 
Revision of the New Testament, combine to establish these." ^ 

Through such a man Whittier felt that his life's work 
could find its best interpreter, for not only were Chase's in- 
tellectual attainments high, but, especially and above all, was 
he a Friend with whom Whittier could be " in unity." 

^ History of Haverford College^ 249 (with portrait, 576). 


The researches of S. T. Livermore in his " Harriet Liver- 
more, the Pilgrim Stranger," as well as of C. C. Chase in 
his paper, reprinted in the Lowell Mail^ Nov. 18, 1887, and 
of Sidney Perley in the Essex Antiquarian^ v, 7 (1901), give 
the main facts in the life of this brilliant, unfortunate woman, 
who through Whittier's delineation has become a permanent 
character in literature. 

The granddaughter of a Chief Justice and U. S. Senator, 
Samuel Livermore, and a daughter of Edward St. Loe Liver- 
more who from 1807 to 181 1 was a member of Congress 
from Massachusetts, she was born in Concord, N. H., in 
1788. Early deprived by death of a mother's guiding and 
restraining care, her peculiarities became emphasized, though 
she had good educational advantages, and during her father's 
service she entered into Washington social life, where she at- 
tained a position possible to one naturally gifted. A love af- 
fair, terminated through the interference of the young man's 
family in 181 1, still further complicated an already turbulent 
career. The young man entered the U. S. naval service as a 
surgeon in the War of 18 12, and died in 1822 at Pensacola, 
having never returned to his home in the Merrimac Valley. 

Her energies were then turned to the exposition of the 
Bible and its truths, as she in her zeal saw them. The ex- 
horting at a schoolhouse prayer meeting and the dancing at a 
Washington ball room, attributed to her in the introduction 
to "Snow-Bound," were at different periods in her life. The 
charge of flippancy, there suggested, is baseless, for she was 
too positive a character to act from whims. Her failings were 
rather due to the conflict of purposes. 

[ 287 ] 

In 1827 and again in 1832, she preached in the House 
of Representatives at Washington, President John Quincy 
Adams having been present on the first occasion. She had by 
this time acquired a reputation as a lecturer, and relied on the 
income from that source for her support. On one of her 
tours Whittier was put to some annoyance in Philadelphia in 
securing for her a hall and an audience, the financial returns 
however being meagre. 

The evidence collected by Samuel Livermore shows that 
she could not have " lived some time with Lady Hester Stan- 
hope ... on the slope of Mt. Lebanon," so that the story 
of the quarrel over the strangely marked horses is without 
foundation, and there is grave doubt if they ever met at all. 
Four or five times Harriet Livermore went to Jerusalem, 
ever pursued with the thought of the Lord's immediate re- 
turn at that place, and as her financial resources were always 
scanty, she endured many privations. 

To such a personality a peaceful and serene old age could 
never come. The capacity for making and keeping friends 
diminished, and her last years were moreover embittered by 
poverty, due, she alleged, to the misdeeds of others. She died 
in the County Hospital at Philadelphia in 1868, aged nearly 

She wrote and printed much, both prose and verse. In 
1824 she published a small volume, a copy of which is in the 
Haverhill Public Library, " Scriptural Evidence in favour of 
Female Testimony in meetings for Christian Worship, in 
Letters to a Friend" (Portsmouth, 1824). From the title it 
is to be inferred that she had been reminded of the Pauline 
injunction as to the silence of women. 

In the Boston Public Library is another of her books which 
contains the maiden name of Mrs. Wendell Phillips as the 
owner : " A Testimony for the Times, by Harriet Liver- 
more. New York; published for the authoress. Piercy & 
Reed, 1843" (PP* 249). There is shown a remarkable famil- 
iarity with the Bible on the part of the writer, but the reason- 

[ 288 ] 

ing does not carry conviction, as the style is diffuse and the 
points vague. One sentence will suffice (p. 191): — 

" The gauntlet is thrown — it is into a stinking age — 
catch it, infidel, and come to the fight. I am very jealous for 
the Lord God of hosts ; and declare war on behalf of the 
Commonwealth of Israel, for the right of the house of David, 
and David's Lord." 

On the flyleaf of this book is pinned a leaflet containing 
a piece of her religious verse of four stanzas, which affords a 
clue to her method of thought, the blind following of the ex- 
act letter of the Bible : — 

"Give to the trump a certain sound, 
* What of the lowering night ? ' 

The literal Scriptures be your bound 

And preach with all your might." 

APPENDIX N (See page 257) 


This letter, now in possession of the editor, came on the 
market recently. It has not been practicable to learn its his- 
tory, or to identify the person addressed : — 

Ameshury^ 30, 7 Mo^ 1867. 
My dear Friend : 

For pity's sake, don't victimize me by a detail of 
small gossip about me. My public life is public property — 
but I shrink with perfect horror from personal and private 
histories. I hope thy lecture will be free from such. Privately 
I am nothing that concerns the public j and I think any at- 
tempt to enter into private and personal matters would infal- 
libly disgust an audience. I know that a Mr. of 

did something of the kind last year, and everybody who felt 
any interest in me was indignant at his course and want of 
discretion.^ I am sure thy good sense will tell thee to avoid 
such a mistake. 

My brother, I know, will look at the matter in the same 

Do thee recollect what Dr. Johnson said to Boswell : " Sir, 
I am told you are writing my life ; if I thought so, I would 
anticipate you by taking your own ! " I shall not be so bad as 
the Doctor; but I don't want my life written by anybody. 

Hoping that the lecture may be successful and profitable, 
I am very truly thy friend, 

John G. Whittier. 

I do not want to meddle with the matter any farther. I 
shall trust to thy discretion and delicacy. 

* [On the margin] " 's lecture was well meant and highly eulogistic j but 

it's personalities spoilt it." 



Alaska Mission, 259. 
Allen, Col. Julian, 156. 
Allinson, Samuel, 60. 
Amesbuiy Friends and Neighbors, 191. 
"Among the Hills," 178. 
Andrew, Governor John A., 141. 
Anti-Slavery petitions, 20, 38, 42, 54. 
"Atlantic Monthly," 26, 130, 131, 135, 
143, 223. 

Bailey, Dr. Gamaliel, 99, 112, 133. 

"Barefoot Boy," 123. 

Birney, James G., 65, 275. 

Boutwell, Governor George S. , 115, 117. 

Brook Farm, 94. 

Bryant, William CuUen, 202, 217. 

Buffalo Convention, 102, 106. 

Burleigh, C. C, 46, 67, 88, 89, 194. 

"Changeling, The," 154. 

Channing, William E., 7,44. 

Chapman, Mrs. Maria L., 54, 268. 

Chase, Charles C, 247. 

Chase, Salmon P., 92, 102. 136. 

Chase, Thomas, 237,257,284. 

Chauncy, Charles, 185. 

Chauncy, Epitaph of Mary, 1 84. 

Child, Lydia Maria, 146, 207, 209. 

Choate, Rufus, 72, 77. 

Claflin, Governor William, 234. 

Clay, Cassius M., 156. 

Clay, Henry, 5, 55, 91, 264. 

Coffin, Joshua, 54. 

Compensation for slaves, 138. 

Corwin, Tom, 97. 

Cushing, Caleb, 38, 72, 76, 81, 121. 

Dana, Charles A., 94. 

De Loyo, F., 52. 

" Demon of the Study, The," 238. 

District ofColumbia, Slavery in, 19, 38,41. 

Dix, Dorothea L., 152. 

Edwards, Amelia B., 239. 

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 130, 188, 189, 

Everett, Governor Edward, 53, 76. 

" Fable for Critics, A," 15. 
Felton, Cornelius Conway, 123. 
Fields, James T., 185. 
Five Points of Calvinism, 9. 
Fletcher, Richard, 76. 
Forten, Charlotte, 149, 151. 
Fremont, J. G., 148, 167. 
Frietchie, Barbara, 152 ; Poem, 167, 

Garrett, Philip C, 252. 

Garrison, William Lloyd, 5, 19, 26, 40, 

105, 181, 237. 
"Garrison, William Lloyd, To," 6. 
Goodell, William, 79. 
Gould, Dr. George M., 273. 
" Grantism," 180. 
Greeley, Horace, 120, 181. 
Green, Beriah, 79. 
Grimke, Angelina, 207, 266. 
Grimke Sisters, 27, 50, 265, 271. 

Hale, John P., 96, 98, 109. 

Harris, Dr., Speech of, 19, 56. 

Hartford, Conn., 4. 

Haverhill Public Library, 263, 277. 

Hayne, Paul H., Poems, 199, 221, 22a. 

Healey, Joseph, 58, 64, 196. 

Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 105, 

Hill, Edwin P., 119. 
"Hive at Gettysburg, The," 171. 
Hoar, Senator George F., 249. 
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 154, 1 71, 214, 

228, 232, 241, 250. 
" How Mary Grew," 67. 
" How the Women went from Dover," 


" In School Days," 238. 

Johnson, Miss Caroline C, 4, 221, 257. 
"Justice and Expediency," 25. 

Kansas, Crime against, 180, 280. 
Kelly, Abby, 55, 269. 
King, Thomas Starr, 142. 

[ 294 ] 

Leavitt, Joshua, 79. 
Le Moyne, Dr. F. J., 47, 48. 
Liberty party, 23, 79, 97, 99. 
Livermore, Harriet, 247, 286. 
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 130, 

190, 202, 2145 funeral of, 228. 
Lowell, James Russell, 15, 21, 26, 84, 

130, 131, 245. 

Marlboro House, Boston, 169. 
Morrill, Amos, 266, 

Nason, Elias, 22. 

Nayler, James, 55. 

Neal, John, 74, 82, 276. 

" New England Review," 263. 

New York, Description of, 50. 

Nurse, Rebecca, Epitaph of, 17. 

Oak Knoll, 3, 220, 242, 257= 
"'Old South,' In the," 16. 
"Our Country," 252. 

Page, John S., 266. 

Parker, Theodore, 96. 

Parris, Rev. Samuel, 230. 

" Pennsylvania Hall," 199. 

Pennypacker, Isaac R., 252. 

Phillips, Stephen C, 38, 41. 

Phillips, Wendell, 149, 159, 209. 

Pickard, Samuel T., 257. 

Pierce, Edward L., 190. 

Pocasset tragedy, 210, 226, 

•' Preacher, The," 12. 

Prentice, George D., 5, 34. 

Puritanism and Quakerism contrasted, 10. 

'* Quaker Alumni, The," 14. 

Quaker Coat, 7, 8, 14. 

Quakerism and Puritanism contrasted, 10. 

Quakerism, Decline of, 14. 

Quay, Senator M. S., 253. 

Reinhart, E. W,, 34. 

" Response," 199. 

Rice, Rev. Charles B., 230. 

" Sabbath Scene, A," 17. 
Salem Convention, 91. 
Sewall, Samuel E., 76. 
Seward, William H., 140. 
" Sheridan's Pvide," 166. 
Smith, Gerrit, 87. 
* 'Snow-Bound," 248. 

Sprague, Peleg, 76. 

Stanton, Henry B., 53, 67, 79, 86, 91, 
102, 109. 

Star Island singers, 163. 

Stedman, Edmund C, 216, 255. 

Stewart, Alvan, 79, 87. 

Stone, Mrs. Lucy, 159. 

Stuart, Charles, 52. 

Sturge, Joseph, 19, 20, 69, 71, 128. 

Sumner, Charles, Letter Books of, 22 ; 
friendship with Whittier, 24 ; com- 
ments on Whittier' 8 poems, 1 1 1 j sends 
works to Whittier, 115 ; elected Sena- 
tor, 117 5 assault en, 126; resolution 
on flags, 187 ; will of, 190. 

"Sundown," 255. 

Swinburne, Algernon, 189. 

Tappan, Lewis, 104, 108. 
Thaxter, Celia, 161, 183. 
Thayer, A. W., 7, 33, 73, 77, 81. 
Thompson, George, 36. 
Ticknor, Frank O., 223. 
Timrod, Henry, 175. 
Torrey, Rev. Charles T., 60, 
" Tritemius of Herbipolis," 144. 

Washington, George, 76, 88. 

Webster, Daniel, 97. 

" Websterized Whiggry," 117. 

Weld, Theodore D., 64, 209, 266, 

" What the Traveller said at Sunset," 

Whipple, E. P., 130, 224. 

Whitman, Walt, 241. 

Whittier, Abigail Hussey, 33. 

Whittier, Elizabeth H., 34, 56, 63, 139, 
150, 268. 

Whittier, John Greenleaf, receives letter 
from Garrison, 5 ; prints "Justice and 
Expediency," 6 5 becomes associate edi- 
tor of the " National Era," 21 ; sug- 
gests Sumner as Senator, 22 ; friend- 
ship with Sumner, 24 ; recognized as 
man of letters, 26 5 Quaker principles, 
27 ; aversion to publicity, 28, 289 ; 
criticism on Channing's "Slavery," 
44 5 visits Harrisburg and Lancaster, 
Pa., 46 ; writes Henry Clay, 53 ; first 
edition of poems, 5 8 5 acts as grooms- 
man, 60 ; makes a journey into the 
mountains, 64 ; considers trip to Eng- 
land, 68 J writes Gov. Everett, 76 ; as 

[ 295 3 

a lobbyist, 86 ; his story about Bur- 
leigh, 8 9 ; asks Lowell for a song, 9 1 ; 
urges courage in political action, 97 ; on 
Lewis Tappan, 108 ; first general col- 
lection of poems, III; declines nomina- 
tion for State Senator, 113 ; " Slavery 
in Massachusetts," 116 5 discusses co- 
alition, 117, 279 ; as a Retorm poet, 
119 J on the assault on Sumner, 126 ; 
invited to contribute to " Atlantic," 
131 ; on Dr. Bailey, 133 j on S. P. 
Chase, 136; on Mrs. L. M. Child, 
146 ; enjoys Mrs. Thaxter's letters, 
161 } on the standard of Quakerism, 
173 ; on Paul H. Hayne, 175 ; on 
Grant and Greeley, 18 1 ; is asked to 
write Sumner's biography, 190 ; seven- 
tieth birthday, 19 1, 194, 199 ; advice 
to a young writer, 206 ; tribute to 
Garrison referred to, 209 ; on Pocasset 
tragedy, 210; visits birthplace, 212; 
on fame and notoriety, 214; on Sted- 
man's poetry, 217 ; Hayne's poem on 
his home life, 221 ; on E. P. Whipple, 
224J on the Claflins, 234 ; on Holmes's 
birthday, 241 ; on Walt Whitman, 

243 } congratulations on eightieth 
birthday, 249; prints "Sundown," 
255 ; plans biography, 257 ; " Edito- 
rial Creed," 263; letter to Theodore D. 
Weld, 267 ; " Origin of 111 Health," 
272 J an early letter, 276; on John 
Neal, 277 ; invites Sumner to Ames- 
bury, 278 ; on coalition, 279 ; on con- 
ditions in Kansas, 280 ; on Sumner's 
speech against Grant, 282 ; Prose 
Works quoted, 6, 60, 108, 1 36, 
173, 181. 

Whittier, Matthew Franklin, 19, 34, 56, 
74, 82, 88, 289. 

" Whittier as a Politician," 274. 

Winthrop, Robert C, 117. 

" Witchcraft in Salem Village," 18. 

Woodbury, J T., 55, 268. 

Woodman, Mrs. Abby Johnson, 4, 221. 

Woodman, Phoebe, 221, 257. 

Worcester Convention, 24, 97. 

World's Anti-Slav eiy Convention, Lon- 
don, 67. 

"Wreck of Rivermouth, The," 154. 

Wright, Elizur, Jr., 65, 274. 

Wright, H. C, 55, 56, 82, 270.